Tomato prices plunge, other veggies dearer

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Tomato prices plunge, other veggies dearer

Jun 16, 2015-

Tomato prices have fallen sharply due to increased supplies from various parts of the country while other popular vegetables like cauliflower, potato, squash, smooth gourd, French bean and onion have become dearer in the Kathmandu Valley. Prices of small and large tomatoes have plunged 54 percent and 48 percent respectively in the wholesale markets.

Small tomato cost Rs33 per kg on Tuesday against Rs73 two weeks ago at Kalimati. Large tomato also dropped to Rs30 from Rs58. Retail prices have dipped accordingly. Retailers are selling tomatoes at Rs60-70 per kg against Rs90-100 earlier.

Major wholesale markets like Kalimati and Balkhu have reported a surge in supplies. Officials of the Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market (BAVFM) said that shipments had swelled around 20 percent.

“There has been a gradual increase in supplies since the past few days. So prices have been dropping day by day,” said Shyam Lamichhane, manager at the BAVFM. He added that prices would drop further in the coming days. In Balkhu, small tomato cost Rs45 per kg while large tomato cost Rs35 per kg.

Traders said that most of the small tomatoes sold in the valley were sourced domestically, and that new harvests had started arriving in the market. On the other hand, large tomatoes are imported from India where production has also risen. According to traders, new harvests are arriving from Dhading, Kavre, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Lalitpur and Tarai districts.

“Most of the tomatoes that were harvested a few months ago are now ready to be delivered to market and the supply has increased,” said Charta Khatiwada, president of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesalers’ Association. The tomatoes produced by tunnel farming in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur are being sent to other large markets like Pokhara, Chitwan and Butwal, he added.  

However, other vegetables have become dearer due to reduced supplies. Cauliflower prices rose to Rs50 from Rs27 two weeks ago in the wholesale market. French bean, which was sold at Rs23 per kg two weeks ago, now costs Rs33 per kg.

The price of red potato increased to Rs22 per kg from Rs17. Bottle gourd costs Rs39 per kg, up from Rs13 per kg. Onion prices also jumped to Rs43 per kg from Rs37 over the period.

Published: 17-06-2015 08:26

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