Vegetable prices fall to three-year-low

Prices of vegetables hit a three-year low with rates of most items falling by 70 per cent.

Chennai: Much to the surprise and relief to consumers, prices of vegetables hit a three-year low with rates of most items falling by 70 per cent during the past one week for multiple reasons. One of the primary reasons cited by farmers is the high yield of vegetable produce during the December–February season compared with the previous years. While 1 kg of onion was sold at Rs 15 a kg, tomato cost Rs 10, beans Rs 15, potato at Rs 15 and ladies finger at Rs 15.

“The unprecedented rains came as a blessing for us, leading to increase in onion yield to 3 quintals (one quintal is 100 kg) from one acre compared with the normal yield of two quintals per acre. Also, we haven’t seen a bumper produce in the past three to four years,” said Saravana Kumar, a farmer who cultivates onion in four acres of land in Anaipatti village of Dindigul district. For the past two years, prices of high quality onion arriving from Nashik and parts of Tamil Nadu were Rs 35 and Rs 40 per kg respectively.

Traders complain that large quantities of onion and tomatoes arriving at the Koyambedu market with fewer sales have also been a cause of concern as they are forced to sell the produce at cheaper rates. “The number of people arriving at the market for the past 45 days has dropped considerably. Even the regular buyers are not to be seen nowadays. We hope the situation would improve by mid March,” said V.R Soundararajan, Potato trader and a member of Market Management Committee. For the last one month, on a daily basis there are 180 to 200 lorries arriving from Theni, Madurai, Erode, Andhra and Karnataka as compared to 120 to 150 lorries arriving for the past three years from these areas. There are around 2,000 vegetable shops in Koyambedu vegetable market.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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