1. Commodity News

Vegetable, Fruit, Sellers Hit Hardest by Fuel Price Hike

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

The summer is very hot because on one side the cost of Petrol and Diesel is towards increase and on the other  side the vendors are unable to sell the fruits and vegetables on the same price, which they were selling. Due to increase in the rates of the petrol and diesel, the transportation cost increases. The house hold budget is disturbed.

High crude oil prices and its cascading effect on diesel and petrol rates has made the going harder for vegetable and fruit sellers of Delhi.

Transportation costs are up. But my tomatoes fetch a meagre Rs 1 or 2 per kg," the committee member said. People from other strata of society too have been affected by the rise sharp in diesel prices. As high vegetable prices have skewed the household budget, people are contemplating carpooling to curtail their monthly expenditures. Housewives claim to be cutting corners to run their kitchen.

The rise in transport prices comes at the end of the mango season in Uttar Pradesh. Fresh stock hitting the markets is being sourced from Maharashtra, and from Gujarat. The prices of mangoes sold in India cannot rise, but mangoes exported can be priced up. "The rise in transport costs does not help the farmer as the price of mangoes cannot go up much, for it is perishable and is available in plenty in the market.

The transportation costs for a truck of mangoes to Jaipur or Jodhpur has gone up, from Rs 40,000 to almost Rs 60,000. Farmers can't pass on these costs to the consumer because there is no shortage of mangoes in the market," said Naresh Singh a mango wholesaler. 

Vegetable growers in Uttar Pradesh have reportedly said they prefer to let their crops rot in the fields than harvest it. The ongoing heat wave and hiked oil prices have hit the mandis hard, resulting in a steep hike in prices of vegetables and fruits.

In the past few days, retail and wholesale rates of all seasonal vegetables have shot by Rs 5-10. Read This - Dust storm, rain likely to bring respite from heat wave Vendors lament that they have hardly been able to recover from the price rise they had witnessed during the thunderstorm at the beginning of the month, that they are now having to battle with the rise in diesel prices.

Vegetables such as ladyfinger, which was sold at Rs 50 per kg in the retail market, is now priced at Rs 60. Cucumber and potatoes are fetching a rate of Rs 40 and Rs 20 a kg, respectively. Till last week, they were available at Rs 30 and Rs 15, respectively. Read This - Government proposes to cap profit on drugs, consumables at 50 percent  Wholesalers are a w

orried lot as they feel that the prices may increase further if diesel charges shoot up unchecked. "The farmers are obviously a worried lot," said a member of the vendors' committee of Ghazipur Mandi. Farmers with large acreage deploy tractors these days, as getting bullocks to plough is not viable. However, not everyone owns tractors and the cost of renting one has gone up by 40 to 80 percent for an hour, due to rising fuel prices. "We fail to understand as to what's going on in the country," he said. "The Government earlier had announced fixed prices, and then remunerative prices. Whatever is in the Government's hands logs a surge in prices, while whatever is with the farmer logs a dip in prices.

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