Soaring vegetable prices raise concern among Odisha residents

Cuttack: At a time when normalcy was slowly limping back in cyclone Fani affected coastal belts of Odisha, skyrocketing vegetable prices have become a burden for consumers.

Chhatra Bazar, the biggest vegetable market in Cuttack, which normally bustles with vendors and consumers, is not the same any more. The vegetable prices at the market have almost doubled with beans being sold for Rs 80 per kilogram, brinjal at Rs 60, lady’s finger at Rs 40 and cabbage at Rs 40 per kilo.

Similarly, bitter gourd has touched Rs 50 per kilo, capsicum Rs 100 and ginger Rs 200 per kilo.

A consumer Krushnachandra Panigrahi at Chhatra Bazar said, “Bean is being sold between Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kilo, cabbage is being sold at Rs 40. We hope that the prices will come down soon.”

“Brinjal and cauliflower are priced at Rs 50 per kilo. The rates of all the vegetables are very high. I have to feed my family and that is why we are bound to buy it,” said a consumer Sushmita Maharana.

The farmers of the State alleged that due to cyclone Fani and incessant rainfall they had to suffer extensive damage and subsequently vegetable prices were hiked in the State.

The traders of Chhatra Bazar said that not only Odisha, neighboring Kolkata, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have also suffered loss in vegetable production due to torrential rainfall.

“The incessant rainfall washed away vegetable cultivation due to which there was less production this year. This is the reason behind the hike of vegetables prices in the markets. Bitter gourd is being sold for Rs 40 to Rs 50 as compared to Rs 15 to Rs 30 earlier,” a farmer of Naraj area Bikram Nayak said.

“The local farmers have suffered loss in Fani and have not turned up to the market this year. So, we have to depend upon West Bengal and Bihar for supply which is also not sufficient,” informed Secretary of Chhatra Bazaar Traders’ Association, Debendra Nath Sahoo.