3 years ago

Vegetable prices mount woes

Focus Bangla file photo
Focus Bangla file photo

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The prices of vegetables shot up further last week, raising woes of the commoners who are already battered with skyrocketing prices of rice and other essentials.

The department of agricultural marketing (DAM) recorded a 20-25 per cent hike in vegetable prices in a week.

However, prices of onion and edible oil, remained unchanged at their previous highs.

Imported and local varieties of onion were selling at Tk 70 to Tk 100 per kg respectively on Friday.

Prices of brinjal, cucumber, bitter gourd, snake gourd, pointed gourd, ridge gourd, sponge gourd, okra, clocacia stems and long-yard bean rose by Tk 10-Tk 20 a kg as sold at Tk 60-100 a kg on Friday.

Brinjal sold at Tk 80-100 a kg on the day.

Green chilli prices further spiralled to Tk 240-250 a kg on Friday, a Tk 50-60 hike per kg in a week, according to kitchen market sources.

Stored tomato price was almost static at its previous high rate as sold at Tk 120-130 a kg.

Potato prices also remained same at its previous high of Tk 40-50 a kg based on varieties.

Rahman Ali, a wholesaler at Sadeq Khan Agricultural Market at Rayerbazar-Beribandh, said vegetable prices have sky-rocketed in many districts following protracted floods.

Supply of chilli and brinjal has almost halted from districts like Jamalpur and Bogura which have caused a supply crunch, he told the FE.

Mr Ali said brinjal sells at Tk 55-60 a kg at farm level in Cumilla and Narsingdi, adding that three-month floods have severely damaged vegetables.

Farmers in Bogura, Pabna, Rangpur, Faridpur, Mymensingh, Chittagong and Dhaka regions have witnessed total damage to vegetable fields this year, he added.

The farmers are now concentrating on early winter crops to cope with their losses, Mr Ali said.

Prices of 20 types of vegetables like bitter gourd, snake gourd, pointed gourd, sponge gourd, bottle gourd and brinjal witnessed a 20-25 per cent hike in a week.

He said vegetable prices have witnessed an 80-110 per cent hike in the last two months amid floods.

DAM asst director TM Rashed Khan said supply of vegetables has declined notably this year amid ongoing floods in northern and north-western regions.

Waterlogging has also been hampering production of early winter crops in 34 districts which might keep prices high in the coming months, he cited.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) had a target to produce 8.0-million tonnes of vegetables in summer (March 15 to October 15) at above 0.42-million hectares of land.

But more than 0.12 hectares of land have been affected by floods this monsoon of which 40,000 hectares witnessed total damage, said the DAE.

However, it has targeted to produce 12.5-million tonnes of vegetables on 0.65-million hectares of land this Rabi season (October 15 to March 15) countrywide.

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