Vegetable prices skyrocketing

Jhapa, August 2

Vegetables prices have soared in markets across Jhapa as their production slumps due to monsoon rain.

While vegetable production in the district has gone down, virtual halt on imports from India citing excessive use of pesticides in vegetables and involvement of middlemen all along the supply chain, have contributed to skyrocketing vegetables prices. “Prices have gone up so much that you can hardly buy anything with a hundred rupees note these days,” said Puspa Adhikari of Birtamod, adding that prices had risen threefold.

As per the price list at the Agriculture Wholesale Market in Birtamod, beans, bitter guard, lady fingers and cauliflower cost up to Rs 120/kg. The same vegetables can be bought for lesser price in vegetable farms.

Vegetable farmer Rajan Rai of Ilam said he was selling beans, tomatoes and other products for Rs 30 per kg. “We get Rs 30 per kg for beans, tomatoes and bitter guard, which cost up to three/four times the price we get by the time they reach the customers,” said Rai, while another farmer called on the government to manage system to sell their produces through cooperatives.

“If the government was to sell vegetables through cooperatives, we would get better price for our products, and even the customers would benefit from such provision,” said farmer Hari Lama.