NEW DELHI: Vegetable prices are expected to burn a bigger hole in your pockets. Sources in the Azadpur wholesale market have said that onion will follow in the footsteps of tomato: its price expected to rise from the current Rs 5-6 per kilo to about Rs 15 around September. Tomato prices will continue to stay high until the end of the monsoon season.
Meanwhile, retail prices are barely reflective of wholesale rates and Delhiites are spending different amounts for the same vegetable across the city. Lady’s finger was selling for Rs 40 per kilo in east Delhi till last week.
With barely any change in its wholesale rate since then—costing an average of Rs 14 in Azadpur on July 20—the vegetable was selling for Rs 100 per kilo in east Delhi’s Preet Vihar, Rs 80 in GK-I and Rs 40 in Nangloi. Bitter gourd, the rate of which has increased by only Re 1 in the wholesale market since July 1 and was available for an average of Rs14 , was Rs 30 in Preet Vihar, Rs 80 in GK and Rs 40 in Safdarjung.
“There has been a massive rise in prices since last year,” said a member of the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board. “Potatoes that were priced at Rs 3-4 in the months of June to September in 2011, are selling for Rs 10-20 this year in the wholesale market. Onions were selling for Rs 5-6 per kilo last year and are selling for Rs 7-8 now. In fact, onions are expected to become more expensive by September-October. The crop in that season comes from Karnataka and Maharashtra. Right now there is hardly any water there and hence we are not expecting a good crop,” he said.
Tomatoes—the price of which has risen from an average of Rs 8 per kilo on July 1 to Rs 22 on July 20—are not likely to become any cheaper soon. “Right now, the crop is coming from Himachal Pradesh where a shortage in rainfall led to a poor crop. The new crop from Maharashtra and Siliguri will come only in October-November. We are not expecting any change in prices till then. If at all, tomatoes can only get more expensive,” said another official.
Lemon and cucumber are also slightly more expensive at present. An official explained that the demand for these vegetables was quite high and supply was not much as farmers had planted fewer crops this season.
“Since prices were not too high last year, farmers did not plant too much crop. However, there is no shortage really. Most of the price variation and hike is taking place in the retail market,” said an official.