Coronavirus lockdown: Wholesale vegetable rates crash in Bengaluru

Last Updated 14 July 2021, 14:06 IST

The closure of K R Market and disruption in trading have led to a crash in wholesale vegetable prices in Bengaluru but retail prices seem to vary in different areas.

Prices of some vegetables have crashed in retail markets too though some vendors have held ground. Tomato prices have come down from Rs 20 to Rs 10 per kg. Beetroot is sold at Rs 30 (previous price Rs 40-50), capsicum Rs 30 (Rs 50), brinjal Rs 30 (Rs 40), carrot Rs 30 (Rs 69) among others.

The price varies from one area to another. For instance, potato rates in Gayatrinagar have remained at Rs 30/kg while consumers in neighbouring Malleswaram have to pay Rs 40/kg while potato prices have gone up by Rs 10/kg to Rs 40.

Gajendra Babu, a trader in the city said 40% of the produce in the market has remained unsold. "Prices have crashed in the last 15 days. The only exception is beans whose rates are quite high due to short supply," he said.

Kalasipalyam Wholesale Vegetable Traders Association president Anand Giri said the closure of KR Market had dealt a major blow as half the trading has come down.

"Space has been provided at two places but trading is very poor. The Singena Agrahara market has no basic infrastructure while the Dasanapura market is too far away for a majority of vegetable sellers and many farmers have also stopped bringing their produce but still, there is no negative impact," Giri said but added that prices at retail market vary in different areas.

An official in the Horticulture Department agreed that wholesale prices have seen a dip. "Vegetable price is hard to regulate, especially at a time when the demand has fallen by 25% to 30% due to the closure of hotels and other establishments. As farmers' earnings take a beating, sowing for the next two months will come down. Then, we will see a shortage of supply and spike in prices. The current high rates in the retail market are due to less competition," he said.

Federation of Farmer Associations president Kurubur Shanthakumar said the state and Union governments are only thinking about those who consume. "What about us producers? The relaxation given to farmers to transport the product is of no use as the market has crashed. Tomato is sold at Rs 2 per kg against its input cost of Rs 6/kg. In addition to this, there is a cost of transportation. We need minimum support price, not assurances," said.

Onion, potato stocks

Two groups of onion and potato traders said the latest developments in Mumbai markets do not pose any problem in Karnataka.

Onion and Potato Traders Association (APMC) president B L Shankarappa said onion from Chitradurga and Hosadurga will continue to arrive: "We have more than enough supply of potato from Hoskote, Devanahalli and Srinivasapur. The onion from Chitradurga, Bagalkot and Vijayapura will sustain us for at least two months."

Secretary of Bengaluru Onion and Potato Traders, C Udayashankar said the Horticulture department has been trying to help the price gaps but they cannot help fall in demand.

(Published 16 April 2020, 17:47 IST)

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