India: Festival causes fruit & veg prices to skyrocket

Patna is the second-largest city in eastern India after Kolkata. The four-day Chhath festival kicked off there on Friday, 4 November. Due to the festival, prices of vegetables and fruits have shot up in the city. Vendors, it seems, have taken advantage of the trend of bulk purchases during the festival.

While brinjal, which was available at Rs 10-15 per kg before the festive season, is now selling at Rs 28-30 per kg, bottle gourd is priced anywhere between Rs 30 and Rs 40 per two pieces. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are selling at Rs 30-40 per kg and capsicum at Rs 100 per kg. "Prices of vegetables have increased due to Chhath festival. We have no other option but to sell the products at the increased rate," said Guddi Devi, a vegetable seller.

Onion prices, however, have dropped from Rs 30 per kg to Rs 20 per kg because of low demand. Since Chhath 'vratis' do not consume onion, there has been a marked decline in its sale. Prices of lady finger have swelled from Rs 25 per kg to Rs 50 per kg.

"People cook good food at home at this time of the year and demand for vegetables like cauliflower and capsicum has increased greatly. Rising demand puts pressure on the prices. Also, some dishonest vendors take advantage of the trend to make a quick buck," said Altamash Iqbal, a resident of Jagdeopath.

Prices of fruits have also jumped in view of the festival. Apple, which was selling at Rs 70-80 per kg a few days back, is now available at Rs 100 per kg. Prices of banana, papaya and orange have also shot up.

(1 Indian Rupee=0.015USD)


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