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Vegetable prices to worry consumers as mandis hit low arrival: ASSOCHAM

Vendors and customers crowd at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in New Delhi July 2, 2014.    REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo
Vendors and customers crowd at a wholesale vegetable and fruit market in New Delhi July 2, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

New Delhi: The prices of vegetables in the retail markets are likely to witness a rise between 20 and 100 percent as the mandis witness the end of peak production season.

Hit by low arrivals of the harvest in the mandis during the April-July period, it is likely to be the most worrying situation for the consumers, ASSOCHAM in its comprehensive study on vegetables noted.

“It indicates a worrying situation where market arrivals of vegetables have recorded contraction despite being peak season for production. In the shorter horizon, there will be more pressure on the market arrivals of vegetables as production season eases,” ASSOCHAM said in its report.

Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said there is a huge gap between retail and wholesale price of vegetables.

“On an all – India average, retailers are selling at more than 52.7 per cent of wholesale prices,” he added.

The situation has been compounded by lower level of arrivals in the mandis for the period under review.

As for the gap between the wholesale and retail prices, it is as much as over 75 in some cases like brinjal (round) and over 62 percent for tomato (desi or local).

In terms of locational gaps, it is notoriously high by as much as over 80 percent in places like Mumbai, Delhi and Patna while it is well over 50 percent in several other cities.

“Lack of basic infrastructure puts further strain in the arrival of vegetables which results in more wastage of vegetables during peak time of production and because of their perishable nature producers have to sell immediately. In general, producers do not gain when prices increase,” the report further states.

“Therefore there is a need of building cold storage facilities in production centers. Government should improve infrastructure facility by encouraging PPP initiative for the development of cold storage. Also there is need to develop infrastructure that could be directly accessible to the farmers and bridge the gap between fields and markets,” it adds. (ANI)

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