The price of vegetables went up due to lack of supply against rising demand on Saturday. Vendors at Dhaka’s kitchen market claim that the prices of seasonal vegetables have gone up compared to the last two days because it is the end of the season. However, the increase in price does not apply to all vegetables. The businessmen told Dhaka Tribune that the prices of some vegetables have gone down compared to the last two weeks.
Visiting several retail kitchen markets in Dhaka including Hatirpool, Mohammandpur, Sukrabad, Dhanmondi, Kolabagan and Farmgate, the reporter found that vendors were selling some vegetables for prices that were high compared to the last two days.
The reporter asked Nuruzzaman Shikder Rony, a retailer at Sukrabad about which vegetable prices have gone up. He said that he was selling green chili at Tk60-80 per kilogram, bitter gourd at Tk80, lemon at Tk40 (four piece), bean 40-50, calabash (Lau) at Tk50-60, cucumber at Tk60, and cabbage at Tk30.
“The main reason behind the price hike is poor production. The alarming political situation in Dhaka contributed to the lack of supply as well. Even the vegetable trucks were transporting at night, not wanting to take the risk of travelling with goods during the day. ” he added.
Rahima Akhter Taieba, a consumer from Mohammadpur said that such high prices are a burden for them. She said it is difficult to maintain house rent, education cost and utility fees alone. Having to pay extra for groceries increase the financial pressure.
“Some people have increased the prices to get profit but the authorities are not aware of this.” she added.
Market prices in other districts
Gonash Dotta, a wholesaler of Barisal City market told Dhaka Tribune that they sold tomato at Tk7-12, brinjil Tk16-25, bean at Tk15 -30, green chilli at Tk35-40, cauliflower at Tk16-22, cabbage at Tk6-7, bitter ground at 35-45, potato at Tk10-15 and lau at Tk30-50.
He said vegetable price has gone up due to various causes. This year prices of vegetables are higher compared to last year, he said. He said the government should consider freeing the rivers and canals for cheaper transportation of goods. That way they will not have to pay the high cost of transporting raw materials by road.
He also said that farmers nowadays are not interested in cultivating vegetables. The loss in business from bad seeds affects their willingness to keep doing it. He insists that the government should supply the farmers with better seeds and facilities.
According to Bogra correspondent, the prices of vegetables at Mahasthangarh hat, the biggest vegetable market of the district are: brinjil Tk24-30, beans Tk30, tomato Tk12-15, green chili Tk35-40, potato Tk12-15, cauliflower Tk10-15, cabbage Tk6 to 10, onion Tk45-50 and gourd (lau) Tk15-30.
Residents of the area said that the prices at the Sadar market located 12 kilometers away from Mahasthangarh hat are around Tk.5 more for each item.
Businessmen said they have to sell for high prices in order to cover carrying cost, to pay the leaseholders and the patrol police, according to the correspondent.
Mohammad Mehedi Hasan, a stockholder of the market, said the price is low in this area because many vegetable loaded vehicles could not go into Dhaka or Chittagong following the unrest due to BNP leader Khaleda Zia’s sentencing in a corruption case. He said that some products were kept in reserve and others were sold off to local customers.
Our Jessore correspondent said that he visited the farm and found that the farmers were selling their vegetables to dealers at very cheap rates compared to the price consumers have to pay.
Farmer Abdul Alim and Ijajul Isalm were asked about how they sold their goods to the wholesalers. They said that they sold beans at Tk.12, radish at Tk2 to Tk5 and tomato at Tk13 per kg at Sadar Boro Bazar.
They complained that they don’t get fair price for the goods they sell. They said they must sell their products quickly as they are raw vegetables and rot easily. The dealers refuse to pay anymore than what they currently do, so the farmers have no choice but to sell at a low price.
The goods change hand several times and each party has to make a profit. So by the time it reaches the consumer, the price has gone up significantly.
Sobhan Talukder, a vegetable vendor at Dhaka’s Kawran bazar said, “Our prices never remain the same. Sometimes the prices go up and other times it comes down.”
When asked why that happens, he said it is a simple matter of availability. The products that are not readily available are always more expensive.