Veg prices in Ktm rise despite hike in supply

- ABHISHEK CHITRAKAR, Kathmandu

Aug 19, 2017-

Vegetable prices have continued to go up in the Kathmandu Valley despite rise in supply from various parts of the country. The Kalimati Vegetable Market, the largest vegetable market in the country, is currently receiving around 600 tonnes of vegetables per day. Around three days ago, the daily supply stood at around 400 tonnes.

Despite 50 percent hike in vegetable supply, prices of most of the vegetables are currently going up exerting pressure on household budget. 

A snap survey conducted by the Post at Kalimati vegetable market showed that 

prices of vegetables had gone up in the range of 6 percent to 88 percent since Tuesday. 

Price of carrot, for instance, which stood at Rs85 per kg on Tuesday, soared by 88.2 percent on Friday to stand at Rs160. Pumpkin, which used to cost Rs45 per kg till Tuesday, was being sold at Rs75 per kg on Friday. Tomato and onion, which are regularly used in Nepali dishes, also became costlier by 6 percent and around 8 percent, respectively, in the last three days. Prices of other vegetables, like cauliflower, radish, soybean and french bean, have also gone up.

Binay Shrestha, deputy director of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, said it is a normal phenomenon for vegetable prices to increase during monsoon, as rain causes damage to the green produce. 

Yet the rate of price hike is higher this year because of floods and heavy rain that damaged or destroyed vegetables in various parts of the country, according to Shrestha. Also, road blockades triggered by landslides, which have disrupted supplies, have played a role in raising prices.

“Many retailers are now taking undue advantage of the situation to further jack up prices,” Shrestha said. “This, however, should not mean all retailers are profiteering, as those who have received substandard vegetables, like those spoiled by rain or other adverse weather conditions, are being forced to increase retail prices to cover up losses.” The Valley generally gets most of its vegetable supplies from Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading, Makwanpur and Nuwakot. Although these places are not much affected by floods, incessant rain has caused some damage to vegetables grown in these areas, leading to price hike. “Also, prices of eggplants, asparagus beans and bottle gourd, which are brought in from the Tarai, have gone up,” Shrestha said. 

The Ministry of Agricultural Development recently said vegetables worth Rs2.96 billion were destroyed in 31 districts by floods triggered by torrential rain that continued from August 11-14.

Because of this, the situation at the Kalimati vegetable market has not returned to normal, as it is still seeing a supply shortfall of around 100 tonnes per day. The market used to receive around 700 tonnes of vegetables on normal days.

 

 

Increase in prices

Vegetable 15-Aug 18-Aug

Tomato Rs.85 Rs.90

Potato Rs.35-45 Rs.40

Onion Rs.65 Rs.70

Carrot Rs.85 Rs.160

Cabbage Rs.35 Rs.35

Cauli Rs.65 Rs.70

Radish Rs.35 Rs.50

French Bean Rs.85 Rs.120

Soya bean Rs.85 Rs.100

Pointed Gourd Rs.105 Rs.80

Sponge Gourd Rs.65 Rs.60

Pumpkin Rs.45 Rs.75

Squash Rs.65 Rs.50

Mushroom Rs.205 Rs.250

Published: 19-08-2017 08:25

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