With heavy rains continuing to pummel several parts of Tamil Nadu, vegetable prices have soared in almost all areas of the state.

Market watchers told IANS that the prices will further go up in days to come as production has taken a hit in almost all the areas of the state.

Tomatoes and shallots have become costlier in Madurai and Chennai Koyambedu markets, the two prominent vegetable markets of the state. Tomato that cost Rs 100 per crate of 15 kg a week before is now being sold at more than Rs 250 per crate.

Shallots is costing Rs 110 per kg in Madurai and Koyamdedu markets while it was trading at Rs 90 a week ago. The high demand for these two products and short of these vegetables have led to soaring prices in the market.

In the prominent vegetable markets of Madurai, Salem, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, and Koyambedu in Chennai, the prices of vegetables have increased by 20 to 30 per cent as the rains have led to the vegetables being destroyed. Transportation is another issue faced by the farmers in the state.

R. Anpusamy, a tomato wholesaler at Koyambedu market in Chennai told IANS, "The rising prices of vegetables is due to more demands and less production. The heavy rains in many parts of the state have led to less production of vegetables but the demand for these vegetables is high and hence the prices of these vegetables have increased. Government must intervene and reduce the prices and if not, it will be death bell to the vegetable traders."

Krishnasamy, a trader at Koyambedu market said, "On Monday, there is a 40 per cent reduction in the arrival of vegetables in the market including tomatoes, shallots, brinjal, ladies finger, carrot, and onion. The shortage of supply is due to the heavy rains that are pounding most areas of Tamil Nadu where cultivation is taking place."

Another factor that is affecting the functioning of the Koyambedu market is the arrival of trucks from parts of the state. This, according to the vegetable vendors of Koyambedu has led to short supply of most of the vegetables and hence prices have shot up.

Ahmad Masthan, a truck owner, told IANS said, "With most of the roads turning muddy and slippery and blocked, it is difficult for transporting vegetables from remote villages to the markets in cities, including Madurai and Chennai. The difficulty in transportation has led to huge quantity of vegetables becoming perished at source itself."

Koyambedu Vegetable dealer Adbul Moideen also said that the price of almost all vegetables has increased by a minimum of 40 per cent and that it was difficult for traders and dealers to continue with the business.

Source: Business Insider