Patna: Prices of vegetables soared in Patna putting stress on pockets.
According to traders, lack of adequate rainfall due to late arrival of monsoon in Bihar has caused prices to shoot up. At the wholesale vegetable market in Mithapur, nearly half a kilometre from Patna Junction, there has been a major rise in prices of all vegetables. The prices of potatoes, onions and tomatoes – inseparable from the daily meals of residents – has been increased substantially, between Rs 10 and 20 per kg compared to last week.
In wholesale markets, potatoes, onions and tomatoes are being sold at Rs 20, 20 and 30, respectively per kg, while in the retail market, it is being sold at Rs 25, 25 and 40, respectively per kg.
The prices have been increased due to decline in arrivals as Bihar is witnessing intense heat and the temperatures has not dropped for vegetables to be taken from the fields,” said Supan Kumar, a wholesale trader at Mithapur vegetable market.
Shahzad Alam, a retail trader in Chitkohra sabzi mandi, said: “The prices are much higher in the retail market due to transportation costs and the rise in wholesale prices.”
Santosh Kumar, who works in SBI, bought three vegetables – ladyfinger, bitter gourd and tomatoes – at Rs 40 per kg each at Shahzad’s shop. “The prices have been increased a lot as earlier I used to buy these at much cheaper rates,” Santosh said. “It seems like the prices of vegetables are chasing the prices of non-veg items in the city.”
Shefali Singh, a housewife from Anisabad, said: “The recent hike in prices has put a huge burden on household budgets. How will a middle-class family manage their finances in such a situation when prices of nearly all vegetables have increased sharply?”
She bought potatoes and onions from the Mithapur market saying: “Our family used to buy vegetables from the wholesale market as it is cheaper than the retail market but in order to do that we need to buy at least 10kg. We store it in our house when we apprehend a hike in vegetable prices.”
Dr Rakesh from the Bihar horticulture department said currently vegetable harvests are not ready as the expected decline in temperatures did not occur due to late arrival of monsoon. He said: “That’s why arrivals in the market are low and hence pushing up prices.”
He added: “Vegetables are perishable products and its prices fluctuate on a daily basis depending upon harvest. If it is not good the arrivals would be less and the prices would be higher. However Bihar is third among the top producers of vegetables in the country.”
Surendra Kumar, a wholesale trader at Mithapur market, said: “We buy vegetables from farmers from Pandark, Fatuha and Khusrupur in Patna and Biharsharif in Nalanda. There is a decline in arrivals from farmers across the state which is shooting up prices of vegetables.”
Shekhar Kumar, who lives at Bhattacharya Road in Patna, was buying vegetables for his daughter’s wedding at the Anta Ghat vegetable market, said: “Our budget was disturbed, initially we thought it would be managed under Rs 10,000 but we need to spend an additional Rs 5,000 for due to increase in prices.”
Courtesy: The Telegraph