Veggie supplies hit by Chhath preparations

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Veggie supplies hit by Chhath preparations

Oct 27, 2014-

Most vegetables have become dearer in the Kathmandu valley due to a sharp drop in supplies over the last one week. With the end of the Tihar festival, supplies were cut almost in half at Kathmandu’s major vegetable markets.

Moreover, as farmers in the Tarai are busy preparing for the upcoming Chhath festival which is one of the year’s biggest celebrations in the southern plains, it will take a few more days for normal supplies to resume, said traders.

As a result, prices have surged over the last one week. Wholesale prices of squash increased to Rs 43 per kg from Rs 23 a week ago. Pointed gourd costs Rs 58 per kg against 38 per kg on Monday. Cauliflower soared to 55 per kg from Rs 45 while balsam apple rose to Rs 38 per kg from Rs 28 earlier.

Similarly, local vendors are selling egg plants at Rs 65-70 per kg against 45 per kg last week in the retail market. Cow pea is being retailed at Rs 95 per kg, up from Rs 85. Prices of bitter gourd and ladies’ finger have jumped to Rs 95 per kg from Rs 85 and Rs 78 per kg respectively.

Ramesh Dangol, planning officer of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDV), said the Kalimati market, the biggest

fresh produce bazaar in the Kathmandu valley, had been receiving 250-300 tonnes of vegetables daily against 650-700 tonnes daily last week.

Another major wholesale market, the Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market (BAVFM), also reported a fall in supply. “We are receiving only 100-150 tonnes of vegetables daily against 450-500 tonnes previously,” said Shyam Lamichhane, manager of the market. “As many farmers in the Tarai region, which is the major supplier of vegetables to the valley, started preparing for Chhath, the market has been facing a shortage in supply,” he said.

According to traders, the valley receives most of its vegetables from Rautahat, Sarlahi, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Parsa and Sunsari districts besides Dhading and Kavre.

However, prices of onion, potato and tomato have slipped 5 to 30 percent within a week. Tomatoes are available in the wholesale market for Rs 43 per kg, potatoes for Rs 47 per kg and onions for Rs 38 per kg.

“Potato suppliers from Nala and Mudhe in Nepal besides traders in Bhutan and Bangladesh have been dispatching huge quantities of vegetables,” said Lamichhane. He added that onion supplies were at normal levels these days. India provides 90 percent of the onions sold in the country. Tomatoes come from various areas of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur and Dhading districts.

Published: 28-10-2014 09:23

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