Vegetable prices unlikely to go up in Kerala: Agriculture minister

Kochi: Kerala Agriculture Minister P Prasad on Tuesday said the prices of vegetables are unlikely to increase in the state as the state government has started a system to bring veggies directly from neighbouring states.

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Speaking to reporters today on the matter, Prasad said, “Agricultural products, especially vegetables, are the ones we are most likely to have trouble with. Therefore, the Department of Agriculture has prepared well in advance of the matter. Rising prices of petroleum products are causing a major crisis in the supply of vegetables we are currently consuming from neighbouring states. So we have come up with a system to bring these directly from there.”

“Last time we had reached an agreement with the governments of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, government agencies and farmers’ groups in the face of rising prices, including that of tomatoes. In many places, they had come directly to the storage of vegetables by signing an MoU with them. Due to its continuity, the problem of price hikes is unlikely to arise here in the case of vegetables. The decision has been made to intervene if it is noticed anywhere, and the system has been set up,” he said,

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Kerala Minister mentioned that the permanent way is to grow more vegetables in Kerala. “Getting out of an item just because it is overpriced is a temporary crisis management. The permanent solution is to grow vegetables in Kerala. By 2021, we have been able to produce more than double compared to 2016. The aim is to achieve self-sufficiency by producing the vegetables required for Kerala here.”

“Until then, if there is any shortage, the Department of Agriculture has decided to procure it directly from the neighbouring states and sell it cheaply. Arrangements have been made to procure more from the farmers of Kerala. Therefore, all interventions will be made by the Department of Agriculture to prevent price hike related to agricultural resources. The system for monitoring it from time to time is functioning under the leadership of the Secretary, Department of Agriculture. It will make it more active. The idea is to look at whatever is in short supply in our market, what is going to increase in price, and so on,” he said.

With the thirteenth revision in the fuel prices in 15 days, petrol and diesel rates have gone up by 80 paise each on Tuesday. With this, the total increase in fuel rates is now Rs 9.20 per litre.

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