THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Amidst supplies and market intervention by government agencies, vegetable prices continue to be low and Onam feast will be a less expensive affair, say vendors. ‘Naadan’ vegetables and those coming from other states are priced lower. Local traders credit it to increased production in the state and elsewhere. Though untimely rains had hit the production of Banana, Toordal and Turmeric in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, the rains had only positively affected cultivation of vegetables there, officials said.
“Prices are unlikely to go up massively this Onam. Going by the trend, this Onam will be among the few times in the last many years without drastic price fluctuation,” said Mr Mukundesh Shasthamangalam, a vegetable vendor. In retail markets, ‘nadan’ items like snakegourd and bringal comes at Rs 24 and tomatoes are also around Rs 20 per kilogram. Elephant yam and bittergourd are priced at Rs 60. Similarly, the big onion comes to around Rs 20 per kilo.
During Vishu last year, the prices of most of the vegetables were around 50 to 100 per cent more than the present rate. The price of all vegetable and commodities used in traditional dishes like Sambar and Avial goes up during Onam and Vishu. Around 12 tonnes of cucumber and potato (both `20) enter the state daily and Horticorp officials say they have good stocks.
Banana continues to be expensive
The prices of banana remains dramatically high due to the loss of crops and bad yield both in the state and in Tamil Nadu this year. The ‘Rasakadali’ costs Rs 86 and ‘Palayamkodan’ costs Rs 52 and Ripped banana (Ethan) costs around Rs 70. “The cost of banana generally goes up because there is high demand for banana to make chips. The heavy winds that came along with the monsoon had led to unprecedented loss of crops. So this Onam the prices will become even higher,” said S Sreekumar, a vendor.