Vegetables prices soar up to 50% in Maharashtra and Karnataka on heavy rainfall

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A vegetable vendor in Mumbai, India's financial capital. Photo/IAC

Vegetable prices have risen 25%- 40% over the past week in western and southern India because of heavy rainfall in the region that has damaged crops and disrupted transportation. Traders in Mumbai, Belgaum and Indore said vegetable prices are likely to remain high until the next harvest in about two months, reports Economic Times. However, in north India, vegetable prices have not increased since supply is unaffected.

The price increase was also attributed to demand for Eid festivity, said traders. Seasonal green vegetables such as bottle gourd, cabbage, beans, capsicum and carrots have taken a hit due to the rains. Vegetables in Vashi wholesale market near Mumbai have sold for 25-50% more than the usual price for the past eight days.

In the Vashi mandi, prices rose 25% from August 1to Rs 10 a kg for pumpkin and Rs 40 a kg for bottle gourd and by 30% to Rs 14 a kg for capsicum and Rs 80 a kg for French beans. In the same period, cabbage prices increased by 40% to Rs 24 a kg and guar price rose by 50% to Rs 90 a kg,

Only 300 trucks came to Mumbai’s Vashi mandi last Friday, compared with 700-800 trucks in the same period last year. Prices of all major vegetables from pumpkin, peas, guar, bitter gourd, carrots, bottle gourd, cabbage and beans have hence increased. Arrivals from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka were slow.

Heavy rains have covered most parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Kerala in the past few days. Rainfall in August was 39% more than normal as of Thursday. July rainfall was 2% below normal and June rain was 33% below normal.

In Belgaum’s mandi in Karnataka, which is a major hub to send vegetables in Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Goa, prices have increased. Cabbage and tomato prices increased by 50% to Rs 25 a kg and Rs 40 a kg, respectively, from the first week of August.

The fields are flooded in many parts of Karnataka, and the crop is now lost. Farmers will have to go for replanting. Further, with highways blocked, there is no transportation from the mandi. “Consumers in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka are paying a higher price for onion and tomato as trucks are not going,” said Sriram Gadhave, Vegetable Growers Association of India president to EconomicTimes

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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