Expect cyclone Phailin to wreak havoc with your kitchen budget now.
Homemakers, already reeling under spiralling inflation coupled with festive expenditure, must brace for a further rise in prices of vegetables as the cyclone has severely affected farm yield.
If wholesalers in Ranchi are to be believed, rates of potatoes have gone up by 50 per cent within a week and might escalate further. President of Ranchi Daily Market Vendors’ Association Md Siroz said potatoes, which cost Rs 7 per kg till a few days ago, were now being sold at Rs 10 a kg.
“The extended monsoon and the cyclone have damaged crops across the state. Jharkhand and Odisha depend on Bengal for their supply of ‘old’ potatoes. Now, with demands rising in Odisha, prices will rise for other states too,” he said.
Siroz added that the cost of a truck of potatoes had gone up from Rs 70,000 last week to Rs 1.2 lakh. “Exporters from Bengal have straightaway hiked Rs 5 per kg for a tonne of potato,” he rued.
Vegetable vendor Md Salim apprehend that the rise in potato prices would have an impact on the rates of other vegetables. “Potato is called sabjiyon ka raja. It has been seen that whenever potato prices increase, other green vegetables become expensive too,” he said.
Siroz said that onions and tomatoes were expected to come dearer as locally grown varieties had been washed away.
“Onions that come from Nasik and other places are of inferior quality as dealers prefer to sell the good ones to Delhi and other metros where they fetch higher prices. Locally grown tomatoes have turned bad due to incessant rains. The remaining ones will obviously be priced higher owing to less supply,” he said.
Director of ICAR, Palandu, S. Kumar, said that vegetable crop coverage in Jharkhand was grossly around 2.40lakh hectare annually. “Citizens will have to wait till the winter harvest for prices to stabilise,” said Kumar.