Vegetable prices witnessed a notable hike by Tk 10-40 a kg last week, raising the sufferings of the commoners - already battered with a rocketing price trend of most essentials.
Vegetable prices surged amid a declining supply of the summer varieties as well as following a significant gap between their prices at farm and city retail levels, said market experts.
Tomato price increased to Tk 140-150 a kg, while carrot to Tk 180-190 a kg on Friday, showing Tk 20-40 a kg hike in a week, according to vendors in the kitchen markets.
Long-yard bean was retailed at Tk 85-100 a kg, brinjal Tk 80-90 a kg, cucumber, pointed gourd, okra, snake gourd, sponge gourd, ridge gourd and bitter gourd Tk 60-80 a kg, pumpkin Tk 45-50 a kg, and colocasia stem at Tk 70-80 a kg in the market on the day.
Meanwhile, early harvested winter crops, like cabbage and cauliflower, local bean, and radish, hit the market but were selling at much higher rates.
Local bean was the costliest veggie, as it was retailed at Tk 200-220 a kg on Friday. Cabbage and cauliflower were sold at Tk 50-70 a piece, and radish at Tk 80 a kg on the day.
Utpal Das, a vegetable vendor at Sher-e-Bangla Road in Mohammadpur, said carrot wholesale price was Tk 162 a kg at Karwan Bazar wholesale on Friday.
He bought tomatoes at Tk 132 a kg from the market, which was Tk 112-114 a kg a few days back.
Besides, wholesale prices of brinjal, long-yard bean, snake gourd, bitter gourd etc witnessed Tk 10-15 a kg hike in the last seven days, he added.
Latif Ali, a Rayerbazar-based trader, said the supply of summer vegetables declined in recent weeks, as farmers are shifting to early winter crops to hold the market in October-November.
Vegetable production might have also declined amid drought in the July-August period this year, he opined.
Dr Md Syful Islam, director at the horticulture division of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said September to October is a transition period for the vegetable market, as the summer crops gradually get replaced by the winter ones in these two months.
He also said the DAE is expecting production of a total of 8.0 million tonnes of vegetables this summer or Kharip season (March 15-October 15).
Md Mojibor Rahman, assistant director of the Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM), said prices of veggies normally remain higher than usual in September-November and March-April periods.
Although the vegetable prices have increased at the village level, the price gap between the farm level and Dhaka city retail markets is very high, he pointed out.
Bitter gourd was selling at Tk 40-45 a kg at Narsingdi and Jamalpur for the last three days. But the same producce was traded at Tk 55-60 a kg at Karwan Bazar wholesale and at Tk 80-90 a kg in the city's retail markets.
A 60-120 per cent price gap exists between the farm level and Dhaka retail, which should be a maximum of 40 per cent, he added.