If you want to tickle your taste buds with winter vegetables, give a second thought for their prices have hit the roof.
The traders though say it is normal for the prices of seasonal vegetables to go up at the beginning of a season, they quickly add the prolonged strikes have also attributed to the escalation.
The buyers, on the other hand, allege there is no market control.
Supply of vegetables is not adequate to meet the demand due to the three three-day Opposition general strikes in as many weeks. This has caused suffering to all including the buyers, traders, retailers as well as farmers who have suffered huge loss.
The shutdowns have led prices to go up, said Moniruzzaman, owner of a vegetable depot at the Jatrabarhi wholesale market in capital Dhaka.
But he opined that the prices might come down within the next week if there were no more strikes in the coming days.
Tomatoes were sold at Tk 42-46 per kg at the Jatrabarhi wholesale market on Friday. Beans were sold at Tk 46-50 per kg, radish at Tk 18-20, cauliflower at Tk 20-22 and cabbages were sold nearly at the same price per kilogram while lady’s finger was sold at Tk 36-38.
Also the spinaches – green, red and radish – were sold at Tk 8-10 per bundle.
But the prices of the same vegetables were at least Tk 10 higher per kg at the Gopibagh kitchen market. In some cases, the prices were even Tk 20 higher per kg.
Beans were sold at Tk 46-50 per kg at the Gopibagh railway market. Green tomatoes were sold at Tk 60-70 per kg, radish at Tk 25-30, cauliflower and cabbages at Tk 25-30 and lady’s finger was sold at Tk 45-50.
Buyers said prices of other vegetables were also high.
One of them, Jamal Fakir said, “Everything is pricy. Prices of pulses and potatoes are also rising along with other commodities. One [party] is enforcing strike while another [party] is running the government. It appears that there is no regulatory system.”
Wholesale trader Miraj Ahmed said farmers could not collect the vegetables from the fields in time and so naturally they could not also supply it to the wholesalers because of the nationwide shutdowns. Most of the vegetables had decayed in the fields.
He said the farmers were incurring huge losses as the vegetables they are growing currently decay within one or two days if they are not plucked from the fields at the right time.
“Now the farmers are trying to compensate their losses. That’s why the prices are high.”
Meanwhile, the price of onion in the market is still high. Local onions are currently sold at Tk 90-100 per kg.
The prices of potato, garlic and lentil have also started to go up in the recent days. Potatoes were sold at Tk 18-22 per kg, garlic Tk 70-80 and lentil was sold at Tk 110-125 per kilogram.
But there is a silver lining. Prices of egg, ginger, edible oil and broiler chicken are going down.