Vegetable prices skyrocket in Prakasam district
The increased temperatures and dried up borewells affected the production of vegetables and helped their prices to go up in the district.
Ongole: The increased temperatures and dried up borewells affected the production of vegetables and helped their prices to go up in the district.
The villages beside seashore like Motumala, Kothapatnam, Addanki, Krishtamsetty Palle, Akkalareddy Palle, Burujupalle, Venkatapuram, Obulapuram and villages near Giddalur and Kanigiri in the western area of the district produce vegetables, brinjal, cucumber, ladies finger, bitter gourd, ivy guard, ridge gourd etc along with the tomatoes.
Most villages are dependent on the ground water and fetch water through borewells. As the district is suffering from rainwater deficiency for the past few years, the borewells went dry leaving the vegetable farmers reduced the area of cultivation in the last one year.
As the sun is blazing this year since February itself, the life of vegetable plants reduced and they started withering early, forcing the farmers to remove old plants in fewer rounds of production.
It is a regular phenomenon that vegetable prices go up every summer. But, the burden on the vegetable farmers mounted up week by week this summer and the prices are skyrocketed than previous years. As the production is reduced, the import from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and other districts like Chittoor is also increased to help the rise of prices.
The tomatoes, which were once thrown on the streets by the farmers for being asked for Rs 1 per kg, are now costing the customers at Rs 80 a kg in the retail market.
The carrots are also of same price as it is being imported from Bengaluru. The capsicum and chillies are being sold at Rs 60 a kg, brinjal, ridge gourd, cauliflower, beans, colacasia, beetroot and drumsticks at Rs 45 to 50 per kg, ladies finger, potatoes, ivy gourd are at Rs 35 to 40 per kg while the cucumber and bottle gourd are priced at Rs 20 to 25 per kg. Though the leafy vegetables are sold at Rs 5 per bunch, the quantity is considerably reduced in them.
On the other side, these prices are not being helpful to farmers and making any profit to them. The farmers are selling brinjal, potatoes at Rs 20 per kg, chillies at Rs 45 per kg, ladies finger at Rs 20 etc at the farm to the merchants.
N Suryaprakasa Rao, a vegetable farmer, said they were trying to give away the produce at the minimum price possible before they are rotten, as they have no cold storage facility to store them. He said they requests the government to provide enough small cold storage units, as it provided in Addanki, to the farmers at all places. He said this helps them to wait for a day or two for buyers who offer better price for the produce.