KATHMANDU: With the Dashain festival at a stone’s throw, the price of vegetables has skyrocketed in the Kathmandu Valley. The price of potatoes has soared to Rs 180 per dharni (2.5 kilos) which was available for Rs 120 per dharni a week ago.
Similarly, the price of bitter gourds has gone up to Rs 160 per kilogram from 125 per kg within a short span of time. Customers have attributed the price-hike of vegetables to festive seasons.
“The price of vegetables usually goes up when festival approaches,” complained Radha Adhikari, a consumer, casting a glance on the vegetables displayed for sale in the Ganeshsthan Vegetables Market, Chabahil. “There is no way out. We have to buy them no matter how much the venders charge exorbitantly.”
Consumers from Gaushala, Mitrapark, Ratopool, Bhatkeko Pool, Chabahil, Kapan and Sukedhara, Bauddha come here to buy vegetables.
Talking to Khabarhub, Adhikari said, “The shopkeepers are looking for an opportunity. When the festival season approaches, they hike the price of vegetables unreasonably.”
“The price of vegetables had gone up even during the Teej festival a month ago. The price was gradually coming down after the Teej but now they have again hiked the price of vegetables with the Dashain festival drawing nearer,” she said.
The other section of consumers says that the price of vegetables has increased due to the lack of monitoring by the government. The government has neither monitored activities of vegetable markets nor has controlled black marketeering. The price of all the vegetable items has gone unreasonably high.
Conservation between consumers and vegetable traders (at Jorpati Vegetables Market)
Consumer: How much is the bitter gourd?
Shopkeeper: Rs 165 per kg.
Consumer: Howe costly is it? It was Rs 90 per kg just a week ago.
Shopkeeper: The price of vegetables has gone up since September 16 (Sohra Shradha).
The price had gone up since the wholesale price itself soared. Consumers complain that the traders have been charging exorbitantly taking advantage of the festive seasons.
“The price of vegetables had gone up even during Sohra Shradha (the period when Hindus pay homage to their ancestors, especially by offering foods) last year, too,” another vegetable trader said.
Some vegetable traders maintain that the price of vegetables went up due to the excessive rainfall that destroyed vegetable production while some other traders attribute to Nepal’s dependency on a foreign country to the price hike in the commodities as most of the vegetables including onions and potatoes are imported from India.
More demand, less production
The production of vegetables is decreasing compared to the demand that led to the price hike of vegetables, according to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Committee.
Binaya Shrestha, deputy director of the committee, said the price of vegetables has gone up due to low production of vegetables this time.
“There is a shortage of vegetables,” Shrestha said adding, “Demand is high while the production is low”. That is why the price has gone up,” said he.
The price of beans, ridge gourds, potato, onions, black eye beans, and pointed gourds has soared, Shrestha told Khabarhub.
Wholesale market price of vegetables
The price of vegetables has started skyrocketing since the past one week.
The wholesale price of vegetables at Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board on Thursday was as follows:
Tomato: Rs 55 – 60 per kg
Potato: Rs 53 to 62 per kg
Onion: Rs 95 to 100 per kg
Carrot: Rs 95 to 98 per kg
Cabbage: Rs 45 to 50 per kg
Radish White: Rs 35 to 33 per kg
Brinjal: Rs 80 to 90 per kg
Bitter Gourd: Kg 95 to 100 per kg
Pointed Gourd: Rs 55 to 60
Pumpkin: Rs 45 to 50
Spinach Leaf: Rs 140 to 150
Mushroom: Rs 170 to 180 per kg
Mushroom (Button): Rs 440 to 450
Retail price of vegetables
However, the retailers are charging customers higher than the one determined by the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board.
Cauliflower: Rs 160 per kg.
Bitter gourd: Rs 150 per kg
Brinjal: Rs 140 per kg
Potato (Mude): Rs 190 per dharni (2.5 kg)
Black eye beans: Rs 160 per kg
Beans: 160 per kg
Tomato: Rs 120 per kg
Onion: 140 per kg
Mushroom: 230 per kg