Print Edition - 2015-07-11 | MONEY
Vegetable prices soar due to falling supplies
Jul 10, 2015-
Prices of tomato and other vegetables in the Kathmandu Valley have risen steeply in the past month due to a fall in supplies. Small and big tomato prices jumped 30 percent and 41 percent respectively in the wholesale market to Rs55 per kg. On June 10, they cost Rs42 and Rs39 per kg. Retailers are now selling tomatoes at Rs70-80 per kg.
Major wholesale markets like Kalimati and Balkhu have been seeing a drop in supplies. Traders said that tomatoes produced by tunnel farming in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur were being shipped to markets like Pokhara, Biratnagar, Butwal and Narayanghat with a rise in demand there.
Khojraj Katuwal, president of the Nepal Tunnel Farmers Association, said that farmers were sending 75 percent of their harvests to markets outside the valley as they were getting good prices there.
“The production is not high as compared to the same period last year due to the earthquake and high temperatures. At the same time, demand from other areas is rising, leading to a fall in the supplies in the valley,” he said. Katuwal added that tomato production was down in other parts of the country too. According to traders, the shortage is being made up by imports from India.
Meanwhile, other vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, egg plant, French bean, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, smooth gourd and squash have also become costlier. The wholesale price of cabbage soared to Rs31 per kg from Rs15 a month ago. Cauliflower costs Rs60 per kg, up from Rs53 per kg. The price of eggplant jumped to Rs35 from Rs19, while cowpea climbed to Rs55 per kg from Rs33.
Likewise, French bean rose to Rs65 per kg from Rs33, while bitter gourd now costs Rs35 per kg, up from Rs31 before. Bottle gourd is sold at Rs35 per kg, up from Rs29 in the wholesale markets. The price of smooth gourd jumped 36 percent to Rs45 per kg. Similarly, the price of squash soared 55 percent to Rs45 per kg from Rs29 a month ago.
“This is the paddy planting season and farmers have already harvested their vegetable crops, leading to a shortage in the markets,” said Bharat Khatiwada, president of the Kalimati Vegetables and Fruits Wholesalers Association. He added that supplies had plunged 20-30 percent compared to last month.
Published: 11-07-2015 09:45