Bandh impact: Vegetable prices take a beating

Kathmandu, February 27:

While the Tarai turmoil and shortage of petroleum products have caused prices of many commodities to soar in the Kathmandu valley, vegetable prices have gone down.

The Tarai turmoil and continuing shortage of petroleum products have hindered the import of vegetables.

In the days after February 12, the day when the Tarai bandh was enforced, prices of most of the vegetables have gone down, while prices of others have remained stable.

The prices of a few vegetables have increased marginally.

This finding is based on data collected by the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB) between February 12 and February 27.

Though the price of tomato (per kg) at the Kalimati wholesale market was Rs 19 till yesterday, one kg of tomato was sold at Rs 13 today.

On February 12, the price of cauliflower was Rs 20 per kg, while today’s price is Rs 17 per kg.

A kg of French beans were sold for Rs 25 today, while the selling price was Rs 27 on February 12. Mushrooms, which used to cost Rs 145 then, were sold for Rs 115 today, while the price of a kg of capsicum stood at Rs 29.

There has been no change in the prices of potatoes, onions and broccoli.

“This is the season of vegetables and there is adequate local supply, but we have been unable to transport vegetables produced in the Kathmandu valley and adjoining areas to other parts of the county. As a result, these vegetables are being supplied to the valley,” said Hari Prasad Sharma, adviser to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Vocational Committee — a committee of wholesalers in the Kalimati fruit and vegetable market.

Vegetables produced in the Kathmandu valley and peripheries — Dhading, Kavre, Chitwan — account for over 70 per cent of the vegetables consumed in the valley. The rest comes from Tarai and India.

Despite the bandh, businessmen are bringing in Indian vegetables through alternative routes, Sharma said, adding that there is an abundant supply of vegetables in the market.

Binaya Shrestha, planning officer at the KFVMDB, said vegetables perish soon and cannot be stored for days. Due to the bandh and the shortage of petroleum products, there is

no possibility of supplying vegetables to other parts of the country.