As the price of vegetables at the Koyambedu market in Chennai have plunged, the wholesale prices in the city, too, have been affected. According to a report in the Times of India, the stock bound for Kerala has reportedly been diverted to the city.
So, a kilogram of tomatoes is now priced between Rs 10 and Rs 15, while it cost Rs 15 to Rs 25 just two months ago. Similarly, the price of onions has reduced by at least Rs 5, that is, from Rs 20 to Rs 22 two months ago to Rs 10 to 15 per kilogram now. A kilogram of brinjal, too, has gone down from Rs 20 to Rs 10-Rs 15.
A kilogram of beetroot, which would cost anywhere between Rs 15 to Rs 20 before, is now priced Rs 10 to Rs 12. Cabbage, which was set at Rs 12 to Rs 13 per kilogram, also dropped to Rs 7-Rs 10. Yam is currently sold at anywhere between Rs 12-Rs15 per kilogram.
S Chandran, President of the Koyambedu Market Licensed Merchant's Association, told the newspaper that about 70 percent of vegetables meant for Kerala from Oddanchatram, Dindigul and Theni are being diverted to Koyambedu.
“Now we are recording the arrival of more than 500 trucks (as against the usual of 450 trucks per day), including lorries transporting with vegetables from Karnataka. These additional loads from neighbouring states were meant for Kerala," he said.
Traders were unable to send vegetables over to Kerala on account of the massive flooding in the state. Landslides have cut off access to several main routes into the state.
While the drop in prices was confined to the Koyambedu market, this would not benefit the farmers on account of transport charges.
Additionally, the retail markets have started selling vegetables at a higher price in such a situation. Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, a retail vendor said, "Since vegetables are available in abundance at wholesale markets, we are selling the same at 10 to 20 percent higher than purchasing price."