By Our Reporter
Journalist Bishnu Gautam was all surprised when a vegetable retailer at Pepsi Cola in Kathmandu asked Rs. 160 for a green pumpkin weighing 1.6 kg and Rs. 90 for half a kg of okra.
“Even the retailer, a Thakali woman from Mustang, told me that she had never sold a pumpkin at such a high price, the maximum price of pumpkin she knew was Rs. 60 per kg,” Gautam narrated.
Price of every vegetable this time has soared high. For example, a kg of tomato costs Rs.120.
But the retailers have different reasons for the skyrocketing vegetable prices. Some have blamed the disturbance in the supply of Indian vegetables and others the flood and landslips.
According to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, the retail price of green beans has increased to Rs 105 a kg from Rs.65 in July last year while the price of sword beans (ghiu simi) has reached Rs 125 a kg from Rs 75 per kg a year ago.
Price of bitter gourd (karela) has climbed to Rs 105 per kg fromRs. 65 a year ago.
According to Khom Prasad Ghimire, president of Federation of Fruits and Vegetable Entrepreneurs in Nepal, late arrival of monsoon, coupled with the floods, affected production this year and this led to the increase in vegetable prices.
Binaya Shrestha, information officer of KFVMDB, said shortage of local products and decline in import of vegetables from India caused prices to significantly rise this year.
“Due to pesticide testing, most Indian exporters are sending less quantities of vegetables to Nepal. Moreover, local products were damaged in recent floods,” he said.