Festive lunch to burn holes in pockets as vegetable prices skyrocket

Festive lunch to burn holes in pockets as vegetable prices skyrocket

With Krishna Janmashtami and 'Monti Fest' (Nativity of Mother Mary) celebrations on Saturday, Mangalore seems to be high with festive fever.

However, the festive lunch would burn holes in common man's pockets as the prices of vegetables shot up drastically on Friday.

The markets in the city are buzzing with people who are filling their shopping bags with different veggies to cook a sumptuous vegetarian meal, even though the prices have doubled.

The price of okra which was Rs 50 a kilo shot up to Rs 140. One kilo bitter gourd was priced Rs 100, gherkins was Rs 80 and cucumber was Rs 80. The price of banana leaves shot up, with each leaf being priced Rs 4 as Hindus and Catholics have their traditional festive meal on the leaf.

"The double festivities have brought a sudden and high demand for vegetables. The prices of all vegetables have doubled. The local variety of Okra and bitter gourd is the priciest.

The rates may go down next week," says a Nitin Kumar, a vegetable vendor from City Market. Quite interestingly, a single ‘moode’ leaf is sold anywhere between Rs 15 and Rs 20, which is double the normal price.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Central Market Association President Mustafa Kunhi says that untimely rains and crop loss this year badly affected business. "Festivities are a ray of hope to farmers and vendors as they can make up for the losses," he says.

‘Monti Fest’ is an important celebration for the Catholics of South Canara, says Rita Lasrado, a home-maker. "We celebrate birthday of Mother Mary and also the harvest.

All family members get together for 'Noven Jovnche' (new meal of the harvest). We have a stumptous vegetarian meal that has nine to 13 varieties. "I am preparing a 13 course meal. The prices of vegetables are too high, but I don't mind the hike, as the festive excitement covers it all," she says.

Flower prices low

The festivities have created a boom in the flower market too. The flower vendors have occupied pavements with flower heaps. However, the prices are quite low due to the increase in yield.

"One metre of chrysanthemums, marigolds costs Rs 15 to 20. The prices were quiet high during Vara Mahalakshmi Pooja as the flowers cost Rs 50 a metre and Rs 30 a metre during Onam. However, the yield is quite high during this time of the season so the prices are low," says Mohan who has come all the way from Hassan to sell flowers.

There is a high demand for Roses and Jasmines. One Aatti of Jasmine costs Rs 880 and a rose is priced Rs 5 each, says Satish.

"I thought that the flower price would increase just like the vegetable price but thankfully it is moderate," says Ganesh Rao.

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