March 8: In the last one week, the price of seasonal vegetables has increased by 135 percent. According to the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market Development Committee, the prices of seasonal vegetables such as cauliflower, tomatoes, carrot, broad beans, brinjal among others have increased as the season of winter crops is over.
The average wholesale price of local cauliflower, which was Rs 17 per kg last week, has reached Rs 40 per kg on Tuesday. This is an increase of 135 percent. The price of carrot from the Terai, which was Rs 17 per kg, has increased by 35 percent. The price of local tomatoes has increased by 29 percent. Similarly, the price of broad beans has increased by 46 percent, broccoli by 60 percent, bitter melon by 88 percent and red radish by 68 percent.
Binay Shrestha, information officer of the committee, said that the price may have increased because the season of winter crop is over.
"This cannot be considered as sudden price hike. However, the price is higher than the normal times," he told New Business Age, adding, "On the one hand, the season of winter crop has ended, and on the other hand, the vegetables planted by the farmers for the summer season have not started yielding."
Now it is the season of party and feasting time and the demand for vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, carrot, and radish is high, which may have increased the price, according to Shrestha.
Sometime ago, the farmers of Chitwan staged a protest by throwing vegetables on the street saying that they were not getting a fair price for their produce.
Geeta Prasad Acharya, president of the Kalimati Vegetable Market Traders Committee, says that it is clear how weak our market system is with the start of the 'off-season' within a few weeks.
The records of the committee show that 800 to 900 tons of vegetables are imported to Kalimati on a normal day, but now only 600 to 700 tons of vegetables are arriving on a daily basis.
After the price increase in the wholesale market, its impact has reached the retail market. There is also a huge difference in the prices in the wholesale and retail markets. It has been found that vegetables are being sold in the retail market at a price higher than the price in the wholesale market of Kalimati by Rs 30 to Rs 40 per kg.
Consumers are complaining that the retailers are arbitrarily charging the price because the price has increased in the wholesale market.
Suman Maharjan, who came to Kirtipur's vegetable market to buy vegetables, said that traders are selling vegetables at a higher price because of the increase in prices in the wholesale market. He also said that the price varies from shop to shop.