This time last year it was dal—arhar and chana—which burnt fingers. This year it is the prices of vegetables that are skyrocketing. Prices of okra, cabbage, beans, brinjal, bitter gourd have increased by 35 to 40 per cent over a month. Heavy rains lashed several parts of the country and has hit the supply line. Traders at Delhi's Azadpur Mandi, Asia's largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, said crops are not coming in due to stagnant water in fields, leading to shortage. And, if that is not enough, the weatherman predicts more wet days.
An Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) finding reveals that perishable fruits and vegetables will bear the maximum brunt. Green or perishable vegetables like cabbage, okra (bhindi), brinjal, bitter gourd and coriander recorded highest wholesale rates. The disparity between wholesale price (WSP) and retail prices for essential vegetables went up beyond 35 to 40 per cent from 30 June to 30 July 2016, according to ASSOCHAM.
Cabbage, which was sold at Rs 20 to Rs 25 per kg in the wholesale market, touched Rs 35 per kg. Similarly, wholesale price of brinjal varies between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per kg at Azadpur Mandi, adds the paper. Okra, which were available for Rs 20 to Rs 25 a kg, are now being sold at Rs 35 to 40 per kg in the market. In some localities in the city, vendors quote Rs 50 a kg for okra.
The price of beans have increased two fold in the last few days and reached Rs 55. Carrot, too, has become expensive and was being sold at Rs 50 a kg. Prices of other vegetables are: green chilly—Rs 60 per kg, garlic—Rs 52, capsicum—Rs 45, lemon—Rs 80/kg, ginger—Rs 120, cauliflower—Rs 48, coriander leavers—Rs 120 a kg.
Options are very less for common man who is forced to manage with potato (Rs 20 a kg), onion (Rs 18 a kg), brinjal (Rs 24 a kg), cabbage (Rs 33 a kg), cucumber (Rs 20 a kg) and spinach (Rs 26 a kg). The majority of Indian retailers are selling vegetables at prices which are significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI), reveals the ASSOCHAM's latest study.