Veggie prices tumble as rains boost output

- Aman Koirala, SARLAHI

May 29, 2017-

Prices of most vegetables have dropped due to increased production helped by good rainfall. Farmers said that timely and abundant rains from April had resulted in bumper harvests of seasonal vegetables.

The rains also led to reduced costs for farmers.  

Giri Raj Kharel, a farmer in Atrauli, said that favourable weather had come as a boon to them. “It has reduced the cost of irrigation.” Sarlahi is one of the key vegetable producing districts in the country.

Farmers in the northern part of the district, which lacks irrigation facilities, are mostly engaged in vegetable production. They are dependent on the sky.

Areas like Lalbandi, Atrauli, Pattharkot, Nawalpur and Nasapur, which are key vegetable producing areas, do not have sufficient irrigation facilities. As a result, most farmers grow sugarcane and other vegetables that require less water.

Vegetables like smooth gourd, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, kidney beans and lady finger are produced here and supplied to various markets. “This year, production has increased mainly due to a good rainfall,” said Ramdaresh Chaudhary, a farmer in Lalbandi.

Abundant output is not the only reason behind the drop in vegetable prices. Farmers said that consumption of meat and fish had swelled due to the election campaign, leading to a vegetable glut in the market and sharp fall in prices.

The second phase of local elections is scheduled to be held on June 14 in Provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7.

“People have been travelling to Sindhuli district to buy meat.

As a result, consumption of vegetables has dropped and prices have fallen,” said Kharel. “We expect prices to drop further when candidates start filing their nominations.”

Consumption patterns are known to change during election season. Vegetables prices began increasing gradually after the first phase of local elections ended.

For example, the price of pointed gourd was Rs32 per kg before the election. After the polls, it rose to Rs40 per kg. Kidney beans that used to cost Rs35 per kg before the election now cost Rs50 per kg.

Interestingly, prices of off-season vegetables like tomato have also dropped. Before the election, it cost Rs50 per kg. The price has now dropped to Rs40 per kg.

“Prices of meat products and alcohol normally rise while prices of green vegetables drop during election season,” said Kharel.

Published: 29-05-2017 08:53

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