As summer sets in, Pune residents are feeling the heat in more ways than one as prices of essential vegetables and poultry soar in both wholesale and retail markets in the city. The main reason of the price rise is a dip in production in major vegetable-growing areas of Maharashtra such as Nashik, Pune, Kolhapur and Marathwada.
In the last one month, prices of tomatoes, beans, brinjals, bottle gourd, green chilly and cauliflower have seen a 10-15 per cent increase at the Gultekdi wholesale market. The prices of coriander, spinach and methi have seen an increase of over 20 per cent.
Vishnu Salve, president of the Pimpri market, said leafy vegetables like coriander and spinach have seen the highest price escalation. "The price of coriander, which was retailing at Rs 5 per bunch a month ago, has increased to Rs 15 a bunch. Similarly, the price of spinach and methi are also in the range of Rs 15-20 a bunch," he said. The price of tomatoes has also seen a steep rise from Rs 10 per kg to Rs 25-30- per kg.
Crop failure in Nashik and Marathwada has led to the price rise, said Salve. "Earlier, farmers in these areas used to supply to Pune and its neighbouring regions but now the trend has changed. Traders from those areas are queuing up here for supplies," he said.
While Pune receives an additional supply of green vegetables from neighbouring states, the strain in the supply chain may continue to keep the prices up. Salve did not rule out further escalation of prices in the next two months and added, "Prices will remain high till the next crop arrives in July".
Along with vegetable, prices of chicken have also seen a steady rise. In the last few days, farm gate prices - the price at which farmers sell the 2-2.5 kg market ready birds - have gone up from Rs 60-65 per kg to the current Rs 90-93 per kg rate. The price rise is mainly due to the dip in production, with many poultry farmers winding up their operations due to water stress in Nashik and Marathwada. A steady increase in the price of poultry feed, due to high prices of maize and soyabean, is also being cited as a reason for the price rise.