Traders said that improved supplies of fresh produce from Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kavre and Dhading had provided a big respite to Kathmanduites. Major wholesale markets like Kalimati and Balkhu have reported an increase in supplies.

Although potato and onion prices are still on the high side, other vegetables like tomato, egg plant, French bean, squash and snake gourd have become cheaper by up to 36 percent over the week.

Tomato prices have dropped to Rs20 per kg within a week in the wholesale market. Small tomatoes were priced at Rs35 per kg on Thursday, compared to Rs55 a week ago at Kalimati. Retailers are now selling tomatoes at Rs45-Rs50 per kg. (Rs1= $0.01 USD)

Tomatoes produced by tunnel farming in Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur were being shipped to markets like Chitwan, Narayanghat, Biratnagar and Butwal; but supplies have been disrupted lately due to lack of transportation.

According to officials of the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board, 550-600 tonnes of vegetables and fruits have been arriving in the market daily, against the average 400 tonnes last week. Similarly, the Balkhu Agriculture, Vegetables and Fruits Market is receiving 450-500 tonnes daily.

The wholesale price of egg plant dropped to Rs18 per kg from Rs25 a week ago. French bean costs Rs34 per kg, down from Rs55 per kg. The price of cow pea decreased to Rs45 from Rs55, while squash now costs Rs35 per kg compared to Rs45 before.

Onion prices have also dropped slightly due to a fall in demand as customers found the vegetable too dear after import prices shot up along with a slump in output in India, the largest supplier to Nepal. Onions cost Rs102 per kg on Thursday against Rs108 last week.

Traders said that slowed demand from retailers and consumers had also affected prices besides an increase in the supply.

Source: kathmandupost