The onset of winter has failed to cool vegetable prices as unseasonal rain in October has damaged standing crop across agricultural fields in the state. Farmers and traders in Pune have ruled out any easing of prices in the near future.
During the last two weeks of October, heavy rain lashed vegetable-growing districts in the state. The rain led to destruction of standing crops of vegetables, which led to a steep rise in the prices of most vegetables in markets. Green leafy vegetables such as methi, coriander, among others, are now being sold for around Rs 25 to 30 per bunch. Similarly, brinjals, beans, cabbage, etc, are all being sold for around Rs 50 to 80 per kg. Onion prices continue to be high with retail markets reporting prices from Rs 60 to 70 per kg.
Vilas Bhujbal, a commission agent operating in Pune’s wholesale market, said the prices remained steady, albeit on the higher side, as supplies were still under stress. He added that onion prices continued to be high as farmers reported loss of fresh crop due to the heavy rain.
“Although imported onions have hit the markets, the markets have not accepted them,” he said. The main onion growing regions like Pune, Nashik, Ahmednagar, have reported loss of crop. This year, heavy and unseasonal rain has reversed the normal trend of lower vegetable prices in winter.
Meanwhile, fruits such as pomegranate, custard apple and figs have also been affected by the unseasonal rain. Rohan Ursal, a commission agent in Pune’s wholesale market, said farmers had suffered enormous losses.
“The quality of fruits coming to the market is poor; thus, farmers are unable to realise good prices,” he said. Ursal said the arrival of custard apple from Purandhar and other areas of the state was hit as the rain had caused a major drop in the fruit crop in the region. Other than fruits and vegetables, the price of eggs has also started rising. Wholesale price has gone up from Rs 4.50 per egg to Rs 4.77 per egg in the last few days. In the retail market, prices have crossed Rs 5 to 5.50 per egg.