Veggie prices soar on rising demand, dropping suppliesVegetable prices in Kathmandu have more than doubled in the past week with the start of the Sorah Shradha sacred season when devotees go vegetarian and the summer vegetable production season drawing to a close.
Vegetable prices in Kathmandu have more than doubled in the past week with the start of the Sorah Shradha sacred season when devotees go vegetarian and the summer vegetable production season drawing to a close.
A mismatch in the demand-supply situation has pushed up wholesale and retail prices of most vegetables at Kalimati, the country’s largest vegetable market. The price of bitter gourd, for instance, has jumped more than twofold to Rs115 per kg. A week ago, the vegetable cost Rs45 per kg.
Prices of egg plant, pointed gourd, bottled gourd, mushroom and lady finger have also gone up significantly.
Buyers now have to shell out Rs85 for a kg of pointed gourd compared to Rs55 a week ago. Likewise, prices of bottle gourd, mushroom and lady finger have gone up by Rs20 per kg.
Other vegetables like cauliflower, small tomato, cabbage and carrot have also become dearer. Prices went up by Rs10 per kg over the week. Similarly, beans have become dearer by Rs3 to Rs10 per kg while green leafy vegetables now cost Rs10 per kg more.
Binay Shrestha, deputy director of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, said vegetable prices shot up because of a surge in demand for vegetarian dishes with the beginning of Sorah Shradha. During the 16-day period which began on Saturday, Hindus pay homage to their ancestors.
The rise in demand for vegetables has coincided with a drop in supplies. The Kalimati vegetable market currently receives about 650 tonnes of vegetables daily compared to 750 tonnes till a week ago.
“Lately, farmers have started reporting that a change in the season has affected production. This has lowered vegetable supplies,” said Shrestha.
Sunmaya Gharti, a retailer at the Tukucha vegetable market, said vegetable imports from India had also declined in recent days. “As a result, prices of imported vegetables like cauliflower, bitter gourd and pointed gourd, among others, have soared,” she said.
A number of farm products such as onion, cauliflower and big tomato are imported from India. Most of the seasonal vegetables sold at Kalimati are shipped from adjoining districts such as Nuwakot, Dhading, Kavrepalanchok and Makwanpur.