Retail prices of green vegetables and tomato have soared in the city even as wholesale prices are more or less stable, according to traders. The supply of perishables like tomato and green vegetables from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other states has affected due to rains. Transportation costs have also risen causing price rise, they said.
"The rates are not fluctuating much in wholesale markets because demand is limited due to the pandemic, but retail prices of green vegetables and tomatoes are high due to various reasons," said an Azadpur Mandi trader Rajnish. In local wholesale market, potato was available at Rs 8-28 per kg, onion at Rs 6.50-13.50 per kg, cabbage at Rs 4-12 per kg, gourd at Rs 6-18 per kg, tomato at Rs 8-44 per kg, and brinjal Rs 8-26 per kg.
However, retail prices of tomato ranged from Rs 60-80 per kg and most of green vegetables were sold at Rs 40-60 per kg at various markets in the city. Azadpur Mandi Chairman Adil Ahmad Khan said there was "slight rise" in vegetable prices due to seasonal factors.
"This is overlapping period when old stocks are spent and new arrivals reach the Mandi. So, there is slight increase but the overall rates are lower as compared to last year. This is a seasonal factor that occurs every year," he said. The effect of rains on crops is also responsible for the rise in prices which again is a seasonal factor, he added.
Vegetable vendors said that prices were high because their costs had increased. "The supply of green vegetables is hit due to rains and so prices are high. There is nothing new in this because it happens every year during monsoon. However, due to the pandemic overall costs of transportation have increased leading to increase in vegetable prices," said a retailer Aslam in Ghazipur Dairy area.
The prices of vegetables were under control during lockdown because supply and demand were balanced but now demand is improving causing the surge, said an online vegetable trader Pradip Singh. "Green vegetables and tomatoes are perishables and storage capacity is limited. Due to rains, supply is affected. Transportation issues have also added to the costs," Singh said. The per kg cost of vegetables has doubled to Rs 4 from Rs 2 earlier, he added.