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Non-seasonal Rainfall in December Affect Vegetable Production

Non-seasonal rains early in December have damaged vegetable crops as a result of which retail rates have now spiked, especially in the prices of tomato and brinjal.

Ayushi Raina
Rainfall in December Affect Vegetable Production
Rainfall in December Affect Vegetable Production

Non-seasonal rains in early December affected the vegetable production, causing retail prices to skyrocket, particularly for tomato and brinjal. 

Brinjal prices, which do not exceed ₹60 per kg, went up to ₹80-90 per kilogram in retail marketplaces, while tomatoes which usually cost less than ₹40 per kg, are now selling for ₹60 per kg. 

Tomatoes are offered for ₹70 per kg in some parts of the city. 

“Last week there was a shortage of vegetables.  The situation has improved this week, but rates are projected to remain high because many farmers have incurred losses owing to unseasonal rainfall. Wholesale rates have increased by 20%," stated Vilas Bhujbal, president of Market Yard Commission Agents. 

"In addition to the damage caused by the unseasonal rainfall, tomato and brinjal prices are high owing to marriage season and a lack of supply," Bhujbal explained. 

For the past two years, the Pune district has received rains in November and December, which has influenced vegetable prices. 

"Generally, it is assumed that vegetable prices will remain consistent during the winter, but this tradition has shifted in the last two years in Pune area owing to rainfall. The unusually heavy rain has severely harmed all vegetables as well as fruits such as strawberries. Until now this year, we haven't seen a lot of strawberries coming into the city," Bhujbal remarked. 

In the wholesale market, a bag of 10kg brinjals costs around Rs.600-800, whereas a 10kg tomato costs between Rs.150 – Rs.300. 

Shalmali Rege, resident of Sinhgad road said, “In winter season, tomato prices never go up like it is happening now.  We used to prepare tomato ketchup at home after purchasing tomatoes for ₹10-15 per kg a few years ago. We haven't made it in two years since the price is beyond ₹40 per kg.” 

"Rates in Sahakar Nagar fluctuate on a daily basis." Rates are Rs.20 less in the afternoon but it increases in the evening. Most vegetable vendors keep the rates same; if you can bargain, it is your luck; otherwise, you'll have to pay more," said Sayali Shinde, a schoolteacher who lives near Sahakar Nagar. 

Chandu Bisure, vegetable vendor from Ideal colony, Kothrud said, “There was a shortage of brinjal and tomato last week in the wholesale market so rates have gone up.” 

Leafy vegetables 

With fewer trucks of leafy vegetables coming into market yard, rates have gone up.  "A 30% increase in leafy vegetables has been observed." The rates of methi and spinach remain constant. High rates are projected to stay unchanged for next week," Bhujbal remarked. 

"Rates are projected to stay high until Makar Sankranti (January 14), when supply rises and rates begin to stabilize," Bhujbal noted. 

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