Cyclone Gulab effect: Vegetable prices skyrocket due to crop damage in Hyderabad

With a majority of the vegetables arriving from neighbouring states, rise in fuel and transportation charges have also added to the vegetable costs.

Hyderabad: Recent heavy rains caused by cyclone Gulab in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh damaged many crops over the past week, triggering a rise in vegetable prices in the city. The price of tomatoes has almost doubled to Rs 30 now, and so have prices for other items like potatoes, onions, leafy vegetables etc over the last one week.

The resulting heavy rains due to the cyclone essentially spoilt crops that were sown by farmers, resulting in a shortage of vegetables. N Aparna, Selection Rate secretary of the agriculture market committee (AMC) at the Gudimalkapur Rythu Bazar in Mehdipatnam said that due to a heavy downpour last week the quality and quantity of vegetables arriving at the market have decreased over the last one week.

M Mallesh a retailer said, “We sell vegetables by charging Rs 4-5 extra to the consumer, but they are not ready to pay high prices. If we don’t sell the it by end of the day, the vegetables get spoilt. We are either at a complete loss, or just break even with no profit or loss.”

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Potatoes

Raoof Ali, a wholesaler commission agent who imports potatoes from Agra in Uttar Pradesh, said that last week he sold one kilogram (Kg) of potatoes for Rs 6, but that the price on Sunday for the same was Rs 14 per Kg. “The price has increased by 42 per cent,” he added, while showing a sack of damaged potatoes which were spoilt due to heavy rainfall.

A bag of damaged potatoes at the Gudimalkapur Rythu Bazar. (Photo: Sumaya Junaid Ahmed)

Apart from Telangana, the states from where the vegetables arrive at the Rythu Bazar are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh; almost all these states were affected by cyclone Gulab. Farmers send their produce to a middle man or commission agent at Guddimalkapur’s wholesale vegetable market, where these agents sell it to the retailers who further sell it to the consumers.

Tomatoes

Telangana, according to commision agents, has less production of tomatoes, which is why the vegetable is mainly tomatoes are imported from Madanapalle in Andhra Pradesh to the vegetable market. Mohammed Imran, a middle man at the wholesale market, told siasat.com that he sold 25 Kgs of tomatoes for Rs 300. “Due to crop damage, I am selling 25 Kgs of tomatoes for Rs 500 now. Price have increased by 67 per cent.”

Imran, a tomato seller or middleman at the Mehdipatnam Rythu Bazar. (Photo: Sumaya Junaid Ahmed)

Cyclone Gulab resulted in heavy rains in different, with varying intensity In Telangana, weather experts had issued a heavy warning last week, the the state witnessed heavy showers for two days. The Telangana government in fact had even declared September 27 a holiday, and asked people to stay indoors.

With a majority of the vegetables arriving from neighbouring states, rise in fuel and transportation charges have also added to the vegetable costs. Santosh Dasree, a consumer at the Guddimalkapur market said, “Earlier I use buy entire weeks vegetable in Rs 500, but with the increased prices I have to cut down some vegetables and compromise”.

Onion

Until last week, Noor Mohammed used to import 25 tons of onion from Nasik in Maharashtra. Due to damage of crops resulting in shortage he told siasat.com that he only imports 10 to 12 tons of onion per day.

Sacks of onions at the Rythu Bazar in Mehdipatnam. (Photo: Sumaya Junaid Ahmed)

Cauliflower

Avinash, a commission agent said that he received 650 gunny bags of cauliflower from farmers from Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) last week, but that due to incessant rain last week, crops got damaged and resulted in a shortage. “Now I hardly receive 300 gunny bags of cauliflower, as there is a 50% shortage of cauliflower,” he added.

Curry, mint and coriander leaves

Mahi is a farmer and has 30 acres of land in Moinabad in Telangana. He comes to Rythu Bazar to sell his produce regularly. “Last week, I sold a bunch of curry, mint and coriander leaves for Rs 3, Rs 2, and Rs 10. Today I sold the same for Rs 10, Rs 10, and Rs 20 respectively,” he added.

Leafy vegetables are highly perishable. Mahi said 90 percent of curry, mint and coriander leaves crop was damaged due to heavy downpour last week. The spinach and fenugreek crop was 100 percent damaged, he said.

Mahi, a wholesaler of curry, mint and coriander leaves at the Mehdipatnam Rythu Bazar. (Photo: Sumaya Junaid Ahmed)

Wholesale price at Guddimalkapur’s Vegetable Market below

NameQuantity 24 September Price3 October Price
Tomatoes 1 KgRs. 12Rs. 20
Potatoes 1 KgRs. 6Rs 14
Onion1 KgRs. 25Rs. 35
Okra1 KgRs. 6Rs. 20
Brinjal1 KgRs.15Rs. 25
Drum Stick1 KgRs. 35Rs. 60
Mint leaf1 bunchRs. 2Rs. 10
Curry leaf1 KgRs. 25 Rs. 30
Coriander leaf250 gRs. 10Rs. 20

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