Kochi: After a hiatus, the price of vegetables has skyrocketed in Kerala in the last couple of weeks forcing common people to tighten their purse strings to manage the family budget. Price of several vegetables has increased manifold due to the short supply caused by heavy floods and rains in parts of the southern states.
Price of big onions and shallots is going northward due to floods in Andhra and Telengana, the major supplier of the commodity to Kerala. There has been a considerable dip in the number of trucks carrying onion to the state from states like Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Onion priced at Rs.30 to Rs.35 a few weeks ago in the retail market is now priced at Rs.90 to Rs.100. Shallots (small onion) is now sold at Rs.120 per kg which was selling for Rs.40 to Rs.45 two weeks ago. According to the traders, the price will further go upward in the coming days due to loss of crop and delay in harvesting and transportation.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Agriculture while talking to media persons at Thiruvananthapuram said that the government will procure 100 tonnes of onion from the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) which will be sold at Rs.50 per kg.
“Fifty tonnes of onion will be procured within two days and another 50 tonnes will be bought this month. Horticorp (Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation) which has 500 outlets across the state is selling onion at lesser price than market rate,” the minister said.
The Food and Civil Supplies department will also procure onions from NAFED to be sold through Supplyco outlets, Minister P. Thilothaman told Manorama News. Strict action will be taken against hoarding and traders who deliberately jack up prices, the minister added.
“Price of most of the veggies has increased several times during the last couple of weeks. Onion, shallots, carrots and beetroot have gone out of reach for the middle class families. The escalating price has adversely impacted the traders as well. Retailers report sharp dip in the sale of expensive veggies,” said Saji Sebastian, a vegetable trader in Kochi....