By A Staff Reporter Kathmandu, Sept. 29 : With the onset of Dashain festival, the price of green vegetables has gone sky high, putting consumers in a fix.
The price of onion has been has gone up in the Kathmandu Valley for the last couple of weeks. The price of onion reached beyond Rs. 120 per kilogram in retail shops while it was Rs. 70 per kilogram a week ago.
Sita Acharya, a resident of Gatthaghar in Bhaktapur district, was shocked when she heard the price of onion at a retail grocery shop.
She had visited the retail vegetable shop to buy a kilogram of onion, but she returned home carrying only 200 grams of onion due to price hiked.
“I usually buy at least a kilogram of onion in a week. But now, I am not in a position to buy more than 200 grams of onion a week due to its high price,” Acharya said showing a small pack of onion on Saturday morning. She said she paid Rs 25 for 200 grams of onion.
Acharya is not the only person affected by the sudden rise in the onion price. Most people in the KathmanduValley take onion as a compulsory vegetable item for their kitchens. But with its soaring price it is likely to disappear from the kitchens of many denizens.
Onions are used in almost all types of vegetables to make them more delicious, said Rita Karki, another woman, adding that the consumers have now been using onions only while cooking meat after its price rocketed. She said that the soaring price of onion would affect the consumers' wallets in the upcoming Dashain festival.
According to retailer Ram Kumar Shrestha of Bhaktapur, the sudden hike in the price of onion has affected its demand as only limited consumers are buying them.
He said that he used to sell around 60- 100 kilograms of onion daily before its price went up, but now he was selling hardly 25 kilograms a day.
According to a wholesaler of Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board (KFVMDB), Bhagawan Upreti, price of onion has increased significantly within a few days due to increase its price in Indian market. The price of onion has reached at Rs. 80 in Indian market which contributed to the price increase in Nepal, he said.
Nepal depends on India for more than 95 per cent of its onion demand. However, the almost all onion is importing to meet the demand in this season, he said. The price of onion has soared in India due to decrease its production there. ”Wholesale price of onion stands at Rs. 100 per kg toady. Wholesalers are selling
onion by facing loss because the demand of onion has decreased significantly after its price increased,” he said.
Now, around 30-35 tonnes of onion daily is supplying in Kalimati market, two weeks ago it used to import 150 tonnes daily, Upreti said.
He said that the price of almost all vegetables has increased for the last few couple of days following their reduction supply.
Wholesale price of tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, beans and okra stood at Rs. 55 per kg, 80 per kg, 50 per kg, Rs. 80 per kg and Rs. 120 per kg respectively, he said, adding that the price of almost all vegetables rose by more than 50 per cent in recent weeks compared to their prices a month ago.
He said that the supply of green vegetables from across the county in Kalimati market declined to 150-200 tonnes at present while it was 600 tonnes two weeks ago.
The recent rainfall has damaged the vegetable farms in Terai and other parts, he said, adding that the vegetables are supplying to different parts of Terai from Palung, Dhading, Kavrepalanchok and others, he said.