CHENNAI: Vegetable prices in the city witnessed a downtrend unlike the previous years in February due to adequate supply from the neighboring states and Tamil Nadu as the first crop cultivation started post-northeast monsoon.
The Koyambedu wholesale market has been receiving at least 500 – 520 vehicles of perishable commodities from last week. So, the rates are expected to be stable until next month, traders said on Monday.
“Usually, the first crop cultivation starts after the northeast monsoon ends because of sufficient water supply, which production increases. And, usually in the month of February, the market witness a shortage in supply which leads to a surge in prices drastically. However, as the monsoon 2022 was delayed, it has impacted the production too,” said P Sukumaran, Secretary, Koyambedu Wholesale Market Merchants.
This year in January the rates slightly increased, unlike the previous years. Only last week the market began receiving sufficient supply of commodities, resulting in decrease of rates.
At present, the wholesale market sells tomatoes for Rs 20 – Rs 25 per kg, onions and brinjal Rs 15 per kg each, potatoes Rs 20 per kg, beans Rs 30 per kg, broad beans and ladies finger Rs 35 per kg each. The rates of drumstick and ginger surged to Rs 70 – Rs 80 per kg due to supply shortage to the market.
“As the second crop is expected to begin in March, the yielding will be decreased. It would lead to an increase in the prices, especially watery vegetables such as bottle gourd, cucumber, chow chow, and radish. For instance, during the first crop cultivation in one acre produces 100 bags of vegetables. But, in the next crop, it would reduce to 50 bags, and the production further decreases in the third crop,” added Sukumaran.
With the prices decreasing in the Koyambedu market, the retail traders in the city thronged the market. However, there was no big difference in the retail shops, the vegetables were sold between Rs 15 and Rs 35 per kg.
“Already, the wholesale prices are less compared to last month. To avoid wastage, we sell at the same prices, and Rs 5 – Rs 10 increase in tomatoes, onions, and carrots due to the demand among the customers,” said K Rajan, a retailer at George Town.
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