Residents are likely to miss the normal trend of low vegetable prices in Pune towards the end of July. Due to late arrival of the monsoon and frequent gaps in the rain, the arrival of new vegetable crops has been delayed, keeping the prices on the higher side. Usually, vegetable prices dip with arrival of fresh lot of vegetables around July-end.
Tomato prices remain a concern as wholesale prices in the Pune’s wholesale market hover around Rs 18-20 per kg. At the retail end, prices have also remained in the Rs 30-35 per kg mark. Deepak Bhise, president of the Junnar taluka tomato growers association, said crops have been hit due to the late monsoon and absence of rain during the crucial growth period. Tomato growers in Junnar take the rabi crop, between March and August, after which the kharif tomatoes from Nashik floods the markets. “However this year, many growers have reported crop loss due to break in rain. While prices are good, most farmers have finished picking their crop by now,” he said.
Meanwhile, prices of most vegetables in the Pune market are between Rs 30 and 90 per kg with green peas being the costlier, retailing at Rs 90 per kg. Arrivals of most vegetables are in the lower range, which has pushed up the prices. (See Box)
Vilas Bhujbal, a commission agent operating in the market, pointed to the drought in major vegetable growing districts like Nashik, Satara, Sangli, Pune and Aurangabad as the possible reason behind high vegetable prices. “By now, the prices should have cooled down on their own, but lower arrivals have kept them high,” he said. Bhujbal said the present price trend would remain so for a month and after that it is likely to come down.
At the Pimpri market, traders said they have noticed a 10 per cent decline in rates after a slight pick up in arrivals. Corriander, which was retailing at Rs 40 per bunch is now retailing at Rs 25, while potato reported the biggest drop. Prices of onion, garlic also remain high with the later retailing at Rs 100 per kg. “If it rains now, prices will go up for a short time before showing a dip,” said Vishnu Salve, president of the Pimpri market.