Customers snap up mushroom as price plunges to decade lowOn Sunday, the price of the vegetable rose to Rs 95-100 per kg, but it is still a bargain.
Ranju Parajuli was at the Balkhu Fruits and Vegetable Market on Friday, and her jaw dropped when they told her mushroom cost Rs50 per kg. So she grabbed 2 kg for Rs100 and laughed all the way home.
The housewife from Sanepa rarely bought mushroom even though it is a treat for both she and her husband. “As far as I can remember, I have never heard of mushroom costing as low as Rs50 per kg,” she said.
On Sunday, the price of mushroom rose to Rs95-100 per kg, but it is still a bargain considering that the price hasn't wavered from the neighbourhood of Rs250 for the past decade, according to traders.
Vegetable sellers attributed the plunge in prices to a supply glut with mushroom shipments from several places hitting the market at the same time.
Binaya Shrestha, deputy director of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, said that an oversupply of mushrooms from farms in the valley and lowered consumption brought down prices in the past few days.
“The price rose to Rs100 per kg on Sunday, but it is still cheaper compared to what it used to cost previously,” he said. Shrestha added that he could not make any prediction regarding prices on the basis of recent fluctuations.
According to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, the price of mushroom, which was selling for Rs125 per kg at the beginning of February, began dropping sharply from February 18.
Resham Tamang, administrator at the Balkhu Fruits and Vegetable Market, cited overproduction for the decline in prices. He also said that sellers source their stocks directly from the farmers, thus eliminating the middleman and extra costs.
mushroom is grown mostly in Kirtipur, Balambu, Lele, Chapagaun, Thimi in the Valley. Tamang said that prices started sliding over the past month.
A single mushroom trader is bringing 500-600 kg to the market daily, which is a lot of mushroom, said Tamang. He added that this was also the peak season for mushroom. According to Tamang, the Balkhu Fruits and Vegetable Market receives more than 2,500-3,000 kg of mushroom daily.
Mushroom farmer Dilip Adhikari said that the number of farmers doing commercial mushroom farming had increased in recent years, leading to overproduction during the peak season.
Adhikari has been growing mushrooms on 55 ropanis of land at Sundarijal and Kirtipur for 12 years. He said that the price of Rs40-50 per kg was a 12-year low. Adhikari produces 2,000-2,200 kg of mushrooms daily on his two farms.
According to Akash Bade, a mushroom farmer from Thimi, he has not been able to break even after prices started falling one and a half months ago. Bade has been growing mushrooms for 15 years on his farms in Thimi and Sipadol which together comprise 9 ropanis and 12 annas.
“The price used to decrease up to Rs70-80 per kg, that also for a few days only; but this time, it has plunged beyond expectations,” he said.
Thimi resident Bade said he sends his mushroom harvests to the Kalimati and Balkhu vegetable markets and nearby bazaars. His daily production amounts to 1,700 kg.
All farmers are sending their products to the market at the same time which has brought down prices, Bade said. Prices used to fall during this time of the year in the past too, but they rise again after a few days, he added.