No respite from soaring vegetable prices

Kathmandu, October 10:

Soaring prices of vegetables, particularly of potatoes and onions, will not come down even during Dashain, thanks to limited import from India.

The price of vegetables, especially those being imported from different parts of India, has puffed up in the market. Potatoes, green chillies, lemons, tomatoes and cauliflowers are among the vegetables that are imported from India, partially.

The wholesale price of onion ranges from Rs 45 to 50 per kg, whereas the price of potato is up to Rs 23 per kg.

According to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB), the recurring bandhs in the Tarai, which borders India, have resulted in scarcity of vegetables in the market and caused price hike. Hailstone and floods in India also have led to insufficient supply of vegetables here, it said. “Vegetable shortage prevails in Indian market as well. Export is very low and the price is expensive,” Tara Pati Pokahrel, an officer at the KFVMDB, told this daily.

Shivaji Prasad, a wholesaler of onion and potato, said, “We were selling onions at the rate of Rs 35 to 38 per kg some 10 days ago. There is a shortage of these items as supply of these items from India has come to a halt. The shortage has increased the price of these items.” The supply situation will not normalise immediately, he said, adding that there is a slim chance of vegetable prices going down during Dashain. Apart from India, the major supplier, vegetables are brought into the market from different parts of Nepal, India and China. Hari Prasad Sharma, adviser to the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Vocational Committee, said that onion and potato brought to the market from different parts of the country can meet the demand for about 15 days in a year.