Thanks to rain, vegetable prices soaring in city

Even locally-grown vegetables have become expensive as either crops are under water or there is labour shortage

The cost of tomatoes and locally grown vegetables around the city skyrocketed on Tuesday following heavy rain. Kitchen budgets went haywire as one kg of tomatoes, lady’s fingers and beans were priced at ₹100 in the retail market.

Tomatoes, which were already expensive and sold for ₹70 last week, hit a new high due to dip in arrival. Residents noted that several vegetables were priced above ₹50 a kg in the retail stores and out of reach for common people.

Padma Rajagopal, a resident of Anna Nagar West, said lady’s fingers (₹150 a kg) and brinjal (₹ 100/kg) that are nominally priced were also expensive. Carrot (₹130/kg), capsicum (₹120/kg) and onion (₹60/kg) were sold for a heavy price. “I bought only half the quantity that I had planned. I bought small quantity of vegetables that were relatively cheaper,” she said.

Wholesale traders at Koyambedu market said heavy rain had affected the supply to the city. Cost of tomatoes, coriander and capsicum were already high due to incessant rain in neighbouring districts.

G.D.Rajasekaran, president, Federation of All Associations of Koyambedu Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers Merchants, said locally-grown vegetables like brinjal and bitter gourd have also become expensive as either crops are under water or there is labour shortage. Some of these vegetables are grown in areas around 100 km radius of the city. The Koyambedu wholesale market too was in short supply of vegetables by 30-40% due to the heavy downpour. The cost of vegetables may drop only in January, he added.

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