Rains in Maharashtra spell good news: Vegetable prices to go down further

Breathe easy as the prices of vegetables are coming down and should stabilize in a fortnight, dealers at the APMC market in Navi Mumbai's Vashi told Firstbiz.

The fall in prices is on account of steady rainfall all over Maharashtra.

The prices of tomatoes have come down to Rs 24-26 a kilo from the astronomical Rs 60 a fortnight ago. However, tomatoes that are procured from outside Maharashtra from centres such as Bangalore cost Rs 42-45 a kg. The tomato crop cultivation centres of Phalton, Satara, etc have yielded the fruit in abundance due to plenty of rainfall in the region.

Farmers expected rainfall in the first fortnight of June and to harvest the crop then. But with rainfall playing hookey in June, and only some places in Maharashtra receiving a few showers, the red fruit had to be imported from Karnataka to meet the demand in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. The rates thus went up by Rs 7-8 per kg in the wholesale markets after the transportation cost was factored in and tomatoes became dear at Rs 60 a kg.

With adequate rainfall in almost all tomato cultivation centres in the state, the import of the fruit from Bangalore has also reduced, says Ashok Chaurasia, main dealer of tomatoes at the APMC market.

Around 75 percent of vegetables for Mumbai, Navi Mumbai region come from Maharastra, 15 percent from Gujarat and 10 percent from Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

The prices of green chillies have also come down which were earlier available at almost double the price of Rs 40 a kg a fortnight ago. Though the price was on the higher side, it is an essential ingredient in every kitchen.

The chilli crop for Mumbai largely comes from Chandrapur and Amravati in the Vidharba area, and Vasai, Virar, Bhoisar, Dahanu in the Palghar area. In the rainy season, the farmers in Maharashtra focus on paddy instead of chillies and hence they are procured from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh and Havel in Karnataka.

Around 25-28 vehicles arrive daily in the Mumbai area with a truck's capacity of 10 tonnes. Since it is not scarce, the vegetable vendor is willing to give a pack of masala-green chillies, curry leaves, coriander and mint-at Rs 15-20 a bunch. The prices of green chillies will go down still further once produce from the Jalgaon and Vidharba areas enter the market, says Kanhaiya of Ranjit Vegetable Company, Vashi.

The prices of two essential vegetables: onions and potatoes will take some time to stabilize though they are still less compared to a fortnight ago. In the wholesale market, the price of onions ranges between Rs 22-23 a kg and is available at Rs 30-35 in the retail market. The prices of onions are expected to go down in a fortnight once produce from the Nashik area enters the market. The prices are expected to hover around Rs 15-16 a kg.

Green peas, a winter vegetable, should make its appearance in the market in the next 8-10 days. It is cultivated in the cold climes in four major belts in Maharashtra-Mahableshwar, Satara, Purander and Ahmednagar. The price of green peas in the wholesale market is Rs 90 per kg now and when it makes an appearance in the retail markets in the next 8-10 days, it should be available at Rs 60 per kg and as more produce arrive, it should be even available at prices below Rs 50 a kg, says Shankar Pingale, a wholesale dealer in vegetables at the APMC market.

Wholesale prices of vegetables
Tomato: No. 2 quality: Rs 24-26, Best quality: Rs 40-44
Onion: Rs 22
Potato: Rs 23
Cabbage: Rs 14-15
Cauliflower: Rs 15-16
Beans: Rs 50
Cucumber: Rs 16
Capsicum: Rs 36
Drumsticks: Rs 38
Lady fingers: Rs 44-50 (organic variety), Rs 28-30

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Updated Date: Aug 12, 2014 08:25:17 IST