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Price levels expected to remain high for another month

Water shortages and heat are hiking prices of Indian vegetables

A lack of water resources and the searing heat have taken a toll on production of vegetables, sending prices of several vegetables soaring this month in the Indian city of Chennai. The cost of beans has gone up to ₹130 per kg from ₹80 in the Koyambedu wholesale market over the past few days. It is being sold for nearly ₹150-160 per kg at retail stores.

On Tuesday, the temperature crossed the 40oC mark in Chennai. Weather stations at Nungambakkam and Meenambakkam recorded 40.9o and 41.5o Celsius respectively.

Wholesale traders said most vegetables are being sold at prices above ₹50 per kg this month due to shortage of produce.

The Koyambedu market gets nearly 10 truckloads of beans from Udhagamandalam and Karnataka during this season.

But, this month only four truckloads of beans were supplied. Vegetables like chayote now cost ₹50 per kg in the wholesale market. Chayote crop needs more water and this has deterred farmers from cultivation, leading to the shortfall. quoted P. Sukumar, from the Koyambedu Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers Traders Welfare Association, as saying that produce inflow from neighbouring states, particularly Andhra Pradesh, has dipped: “The city witnesses a hike in prices during June every year. But this time there has been an abnormal increase in prices due to the prolonged dry spell. The cost of some vegetables has risen by 30%.”

[ ₹100  = €1.28 ]

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