Veggie prices soar by up to 246pc in Ktm

- ABHISHEK CHITRAKAR, Kathmandu

Oct 27, 2017-

Vegetable prices in the Kathmandu Valley have increased by up to 246 percent in the last one month due to decline in supply from farmers who have reduced harvests. 

The Kalimati Vegetable Market, the largest vegetable market in the country, is currently receiving around 400 tonnes of vegetables per day. It used to receive around 700 tonnes of vegetables on normal days. 

Due to the downfall in supply, vegetable prices are going up which leads to pressure on household budgets.

“The prices of vegetables have been going up since Tihar as farmers are harvesting less compared to usual,” said Manoj Dhital, senior marketing officer of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board. During Tihar, most of the farmers stopped going to the fields to celebrate the festival with family members. Right after this festival was over, Chhath, a festival widely celebrated in the Tarai region, began. “Since many of the workers come from Tarai, many farms may be facing labour shortage during Chhath,” Dhital added.

Price of cow pea, which stood at Rs65 per kg last month, soared by 246.2 percent on Thursday to stand at Rs225. Bitter Groud, which used to cost Rs35 per kg till last month, was being sold at Rs95 per kg on Thursday. Carrot and onion, which are regularly used in Nepali dishes, also became costlier by 76.5 percent and around 27.3 percent, respectively, since last month. Prices of other vegetables, like cauliflower, radish, lady finger, pointed gourd and french bean, have also gone up.

“The prices of vegetables like lady finger, pointed gourd, bitter groud have rapidly gone up as it is an off-season for these vegetables,” said Chandra Keshab Giri, a retailer at Kalimati Vegetable Market.

The Valley generally gets most of its vegetable supplies from Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading, Makwanpur and Nuwakot. 

While most of the vegetables have become more expensive in the market, other vegetables, such pumpkin, barela have fallen.

“It may take some time for vegetable prices to normalise as Tihar has recently come to an end,” said Binay Shrestha, Deputy Director of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board. Supply of vegetable prices has also been affected by the August floods that inundated large swathes of land in Tarai region, destroying vegetables worth millions.

Published: 27-10-2017 08:11

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