If you want to taste your favourite vegetarian dish, be prepared to shell out more money.
The escalating cost of vegetables is eating into the household budgets of many. Beans, priced at Rs.88 a kg in retail market, is the costliest among the vegetables this summer. Several consumers are avoiding purchase of beans and broad beans (Rs.62 per kg), thanks to their price tag. Shanthi Saravanan, a resident of ICF, said “I always stock beans and broad beans at home. I was shocked though as prices have soared over the past couple of weeks. In just ten days, the prices of vegetables such as brinjal and tomato have risen by at least Rs.10,” she added.
Customers have to spend a minimum of Rs. 20 to buy one kg of most vegetables in retail market, except for onion and cabbage that are priced at Rs.15 a kg. Traders in Koyambedu market said that lack of rains in other States, from where produce is sourced, has led to spiralling of prices.
Carrots (Rs.44/kg), ginger (Rs.95/kg) and ladies finger (Rs.38/kg) are also costly.
The prices of several vegetables, particularly those that are out of season, go up every summer. However, this summer, the cost has shot up by 10-15 per cent as compared to last year. The increasing transportation and labour charges have also taken a toll.
S. Chandran, a wholesale trader at Koyambedu, said that the market receives beans from Andhra Pradesh and Udhagamandalam. When supply decreases, it is sourced from Ranchi. But, low yields in Ranchi and high transportation charges led to short supply. “We are only getting 150 bags of beans daily against the usual supply of 250-300 bags. Each bag has 60-70 kg of beans,”
The market is receiving lorry-loads of raw mangoes that come for Rs.10 a kg at wholesale rate.
Green chillies, which cost Rs.38 a kg in retail shops, are less expensive too. Traders say the price will remain high till June when the southwest monsoon starts.