KATHMANDU, Dec 18: Prices of vegetables like tomato, onion, cabbage and cauliflower, among others, have come down in the market, an analysis of retail prices in the Kalimati market shows.
Tomato and carrot prices have seen the biggest plunge with their prices falling by Rs 40 per kg each on Sunday compared to the price recorded on December 1. Small tomato saw a price drop of Rs 30 per kg, whereas prices of onion, cabbage, local cauliflower, Tarai cauliflower fell by Rs 20 per kg each in the same period.
Officials of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB) attributed the drop in vegetable prices to increased supply from India - the major source market. “A major chunk of vegetables consumed in the Nepali market comes from India.
As supplies from India as well as districts around the Kathmandu Valley have improved since the beginning of December, vegetable prices have come down,” Tejendra Prasad Poudel, executive director of the board, said. “The market is now getting sufficient supplies. This has made immediate impact in the market.”
Some wholesalers in Kalimati market also said that the prices have dropped due to conclusion of the wedding month of Mangsir when demand for vegetables picks up. “There was a high demand of vegetables in the recently concluded wedding season. Supply from India decreased at the same time. Prices of vegetables like tomato, carrot and onion increased significantly due to mismatch in demand and supply,” said Rajan Neupane, a wholesaler of vegetables at the Kalimati market.
Bimal Dhungana, another wholesaler, said vegetable prices fell also because of competition among traders. “When vegetable prices were high, traders made attempts to increase supply of vegetables from their side to make more profit,” he said, adding: “Increased supply eventually caused the prices to come down.”
The price of big tomato, which is imported mainly from India, had reached the year high of Rs 125 in December 8. Similarly, price of onion had also climbed to Rs 140 per kg in late November after the Indian government capped onion exports to control price hike due to low production.
Nepal depends on India for vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and carrot etc. The country imported vegetables worth Rs 21.5 billion in the last fiscal year, according to the Department of Customs.