Saturday, 06 January 2024 09:19

Significant rise in vegetable prices Featured

The price of almost all varieties of vegetables have gone through the roof. According to a fact-finding mission to the Narahenpita Economic Centre, the prices of most upcountry and low-country vegetables remained as high as over Rs.800 a kilo.

A kilo of carrots cost Rs 1,000, while a kilo of Brinjals, cabbage and tomatoes are priced at Rs 900 respectively. A kilo of green chillies cost Rs 1,800. A kilo of Ladies’ Fingers cost Rs 800. Some vegetables such as ash plantains cost less as a kilo is priced at Rs 480.

As per the wholesalers and retailers in the Narahenpita Economic Centre the main reason for the vegetable price hike is the inclement weather conditions. “We usually bring vegetables from areas such as Embilipitiya, Nuwara Eliya and Puttalam. Production of vegetables in those areas have gone down because of the adverse weather conditions. We have had rains in these areas for a long time. Prices have gone up as a result of this situation,” said P. H. Perera owner of one retail outlet in Narahenpita Economic Centre.

“We anticipate that our transportation cost will go up because of the fuel price increase. Earlier, we spent about Rs 13,000 per week, but now we anticipate it will go up to about Rs 18,000. Fuel prices increase will also affect the vegetable prices,” he said.

Navin another trader, said it is not possible to give a time frame as to when the vegetable prices would come down. “We cannot give a time frame as to when the prices would go down as there are other factors which are going to affect. Fuel prices are certainly going to affect the prices,” he said.

Shantha who is the owner of a small vegetable store also said fuel price is going to be a worrying factor. However, the Department of Agriculture anticipates that the production of vegetables would increase in around six weeks’ time. The Department’s Director General Malini Parasuramn told the media yesterday that production would increase in six weeks’ time with the decision made by the Agriculture Ministry to distribute vegetable plants to farmers rather than focusing on supplying seeds. The department confirmed that the supply of vegetables has declined.

Meanwhile, the Agriculture Ministry source said there will be enough vegetables coming in the market within the next few weeks. The ministry sources said middlemen also create a price hike.

By Yohan Perera and Chaturanga Samarawickrama

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