Rains lead to increase in vegetable prices by 40%: ASSOCHAM

assocham-logoNew Delhi: Prices of vegetables such as lady fingers, cabbage, beans, brinjal, bitter gourd have increased by 35-40% over a month as heavy rains in several parts of the country have hit the supply line to Delhi-NCR, according to an ASSOCHAM paper.

The prices in Delhi’s wholesale markets have gone up by nearly 35 to 40 per cent over a month.

Traders at the Azadpur Mandi, Asia’s largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, said crops are not coming out of the fields due to stagnant water in fields, leading to shortage. Also, the weather department also has predicted similar weather condition for the next few days.

The Associated Chamber of commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) findings reveals that the perishable fruits and vegetables will bear the maximum brunt. Traders in Delhi said green or perishable vegetables like cabbage, Okra (bhindi), brinjal, Karela and coriander recorded high wholesale rates.

The disparity between Wholesale Price (WSP) and Retail prices for essential vegetables like bhindi (Okra), cabbage, Karela went up beyond 35-40% from 30 June to 30 July 2016, according to ASSOCHAM recent paper.

According to the paper, Cabbage, which was sold at 20-25 per kg in the wholesale market, touched 35 per kg. Similarly, wholesale price of brinjal varies between 20 and 25 per kg at Azadpur Mandi, adds the paper.

The crop lying in the field is bound to rot due to heavy rains. The crop is not coming out of fields and hence there is a short supply in the market, adds the paper.

Okra, which were available for Rs 20 to Rs 25 a kg, are now being sold at Rs 35-40 per kg in the market. In some of the localities in the city, vendors quote Rs 50 a kg of Okra.

The prices of beans have increased twofold in the last few days and reached Rs 55. Carrot also has become expensive and was being sold at Rs 50 a kg. Prices of other vegetables are green chilly (Rs 60 per kg) garlic (Rs 52), capsicum (Rs 45) and lemon (Rs 80/kg), ginger (Rs 120), cauliflower (Rs 48), corriander leavers (Rs 120 a kg). The options are very less for common man who has to manage with potato (Rs 20 a kg), onion (Rs 18 a kg), brinjal (Rs 24 a kg), cabbage (Rs 33 a kg) and cucumber (Rs 20 a kg), Spinach (Rs. 26 a kg).

The majority of Indian retailers are selling vegetables at prices which are significantly higher than the wholesale price index (WPI), reveals the ASSOCHAM latest study. The difference between WSP and retail prices on an average stays around 35-40%.

Wholesale price have benefited multiple times middlemen and traders, particularly for sale of essential commodities and worst hit in the process remained farmer and consumer as farmers margins squeezed badly with consumers paying unreasonably higher prices. Due to difference in both prices of wholesale and retail prices, the extra amount which end consumers are paying for vegetables is utterly disproportionate, adds the findings of the paper.

The essential vegetables incorporated in the study are brinjal long, brinjal round, Cabbage, Garlic, Ginger, Chilly, Okra, Peas, Potato fresh, Potato store, Tomato hybrid and Tomato local, highlights the paper.

ASSOCHAM urges government needs to improve infrastructure facility through encourage public private partnership (PPP) initiate for the development of cold storage and facility should be provided those farmers which are coming from the long distance area.

On the retail front, the analysis has observed that retailers are charging very high prices as compared to wholesale prices of the vegetables. In such scenario, government needs to play proactive role to control the retail price through surveillance scheme, adds the paper.

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