Hyderabad: Vegetable prices in the city have increased manifold, with some costing four times compared to last month. Rates of green chilli and tomato have increased by Rs 40 in less than a week. Amid the gloom, agriculture marketing officials have warned that these prices may go up further till October end.
According to agriculture marketing director G. Lakshmi Bai, price hike is usual during this time of the year when market faces shortage of vegetables due to multiple factors. This time, unseasonal rainfall and damage to crops has compounded the situation.
Lakshmi Bai said to deal with shortage of vegetables, their department has imported tomato and chill from Madanapalle, beans from Bengaluru and Maharashtra, and potato from Delhi. She said that the chilli price in Rythu Bazar is Rs 83 and tomato Rs 50. Prices will remain at this level till October end, as 60 per cent of requirement is being imported from other states. Prices will ease after new vegetable crops start getting harvested in Telangana from next month, the official said.
However, vegetable vendors across the city have been selling tomatoes at prices from Rs 50 to Rs 80 and chilli between Rs 80 and Rs 120 based on demand in respective areas. Satish Reddy, a vegetable vendor in Tarnaka, said, “Earlier, I used to sell my entire stock by 3 pm. Now, due to increased prices, some stocks remain unsold even till 10 pm."
Echoing his concern, Subramaniyam, another vegetable vendor, lamented, "Due to price hike, there is no business. I am selling leftover vegetables to other vendors to at least recoup my investment on vegetables."
Consumers are demanding that government intervene and provide vegetables at subsidised prices. "Prices of vegetables have increased by four times in a week, but not our salaries. We demand that government subsidise sale of vegetables," Mumtaz, a regular buyer from Mehdipatnam Rythu Bazar, said.
Namrata, another consumer who purchases vegetables in Begumpet, said prices in their area are at least Rs 20-Rs 40 higher when compared to Rythu Bazaars. "We cannot afford vegetables at such prices," she stated.