Prices of vegetables had shot up following heavy rain earlier this week with many customers being forced to cut down on the quantity they bought in a bid to avoid a pinch in their pockets.
“What else will they do when we tell them the price of coriander has risen from Rs 50/kg now to Rs 200? Many customers thought we were bluffing but the truth is that prices rose not just by the day but even by the hour following the rains,” said Ratan Mondal, who sells vegetables at Baisakhi.
Early on Tuesday, Mondal bought brinjal for Rs 20/kg from the wholesaler near Ultadanga. “A few hours later my friend bought it for Rs 30. Since supply has been limited, wholesalers hiked the prices whenever their quantity dwindled,” he said. “Jhinge, potol and bhindi are summer vegetables and so they’re expected to be expensive now but customers are just not ready to pay an arm and a leg for winter vegetables like cauliflower, palong shak, coriander and barbati.”
Nepal Mondal, a fruit vendor at AE Market, said that the rains prevented workers from harvesting enough vegetables from the farms and transporting them from cold storage. “This shortage led to price rises but now that the rains have stopped, prices should normalise by the second half of the week,” said Mondal.
At BD Market, however, Jayanta Dutta wasn’t so sure. “A lot of crops have got spoilt due to the unseasonal rains and it will take 10 to 15 days for prices to come down,” he said, citing brinjal as an example. “Brinjals were priced at Rs 50 a kilo after the rains on Tuesday but on Wednesday they rose further to Rs 60. Cauliflowers too have sustained a price of Rs 25 even a couple of days after the rains.”