Come summer, the short supply and increased demand for vegetables tend to send prices soaring. Prices of tomatoes, carrots, beans, avarakkai, chowchow, coriander and pudhina have all gone up since last week.
Kilpauk resident S. Sharmila said tomatoes, pudhina and coriander were absolutely necessary for daily cooking and she had noted that the prices of these had gone up. “In a non-vegetarian item, there is no replacement for tomatoes like how you can use tamarind in a rasam. When you spend so much on the meat, the other ingredients meant for the masala too need to be just right,” she said, adding that for those who cannot afford, such rates would be an issue.
R. Ganesan of Sri Ganesh Vegetable store said first-quality beans at his store were priced at ₹90. “I do both wholesale and retail. With the increase in prices, I have not been able to supply to companies at the old rates. I am just about managing now. Hopefully, the supplies will get regularised soon, bringing the demand and prices down,” he said.
Koyambedu’s Periyar Vegetable Market Licensed Merchants’ Association president S. Chandran said every year during summer, with low water availability, the yield automatically came down. “Wholesale prices of certain vegetables have gone up by ₹5-10 a kilo. For instance, take the case of shallots (sambar vengayam). We are not getting supplies from Cuddapah and Kurnool, but from Erode, Salem and Oddanchatram, and the quantity is only 20 tonnes a day, in place of the usual 50-60 tonnes,” he said.
However, prices of all vegetables have not gone up. Prices of onions and potatoes remain the same. In fact, due to increase in the availability of onions and yam (chenaikizhangu), they are being sold at very low prices. Yam from Andhra Pradesh sells at ₹15 a kilo and that from Tamil Nadu at ₹10-12 a kilo.