CHENNAI: Vegetable prices in the city surged by 20 per cent following a shortage in supply due to summer rains in the interior districts of Tamil Nadu and neighboring states for the last few days. Traders said at least 40 per cent of sales were reduced after the rates increased.
"Ever since the second crop cultivation started in the State, the prices gradually increased due to a drop in the supply. With only 400 truckloads of vegetables arrived at Koyambedu wholesale market, the prices surged by 20 per cent," said P Sukumaran, Treasurer, Koyambedu Wholesale Merchants’ Association.
"In addition, as interior districts of TN, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh received rains which lead to crop damage. So, the rates are expected to increase further from next week," he added.
Customers are purchasing vegetables that are sold for a lower price. For instance, retail vendors usually purchase two-three boxes of tomatoes. Due to a sudden surge in the prices, now they are buying only one box. So, at least 40 per cent of sale has been reduced in the Koyambedu market.
"Several vegetable prices increased abnormally recently. So, the public buy products which are sold below Rs 20 per kg. With the sale drastically decreased more vegetables are dumped daily," said G Kumaran, a retail vendor at Old Washermepet.
Currently, tomato is sold for Rs 50-60 per kg, beans Rs 80 - 90 per kg, peas Rs 200 per kg, broad beans Rs 40-50 per kg, carrots Rs 25-40 per kg, onion and potato Rs 15-25 per kg, chow chow and cucumber sold for Rs 25-30 per kg.