Veggie wholesale prices ease, but retailers rip off customers

Veggie wholesale prices ease, but retailers  rip off customers

The prices of vegetables continue to remain high in retail outlets despite the wholesale rates easing up over a week.

While a kg of tomato at wholesale markets such as Kalasipalyam, KR Market and Yeshwantpur costs Rs 20 to Rs 30, some retailers are selling the fruit at Rs 60-Rs 70 per kilo.

Similarly, the price of beans has reduced to Rs 40 from Rs 80 a kg, but it’s sold at Rs 55-Rs 100 in retail. Brinjal costs Rs 50-Rs 72 at some retail shops, while at markets vendors are selling it for Rs 20 to Rs 30 a kg. Drumsticks available at markets for Rs 80-Rs 100 are sold for Rs 200 in retail.

Vegetable Merchants’ Association president R V Gopi said retailers buy vegetables in bulk from wholesale markets and sell them at double the cost. He said the government should take stringent action against them for jacking up the prices, which in turn affects consumers.

A retailer at HSR Layout said: “We buy vegetables in bulk from Kalasipalyam and the purchase most times is of poor quality. Suppose we buy 20 kg of tomatoes, only 15 kg will be of good quality and the rest rotten. Hence, we charge more based on the quality and demand from customers.”

Wholesale traders say the prices of vegetables might shoot up again if there is a short supply in the State.

Gopi said: “While we import vegetables such as lady’s finger and brinjal, other veggies such as tomato, cauliflower, capsicum, cabbage and others are supplied to Tamil Nadu, especially.

Now that the roads there are blocked in the wake of rains, we are unable to export them. Once the rains subside, there will be more demand and hence farmers, to sustain their livelihood, may supply most of their produce to Tamil Nadu.

If the demand shoots up and the supply is hit, we will have option but to hike the prices.”

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