KATHMANDU, Aug 16: Vegetables produced in and around the capital are finding their way to other major cities across the country, thanks to comparatively higher price offer amid supply deficit in this rainy season.
Supply of vegetables from adjoining areas of the Kathmandu Valley is being diverted to other cities such as Pokhara, Narayanghat, Butwal, Bhairawa, Biratnagar and other Tarai districts in recent days.
“Even major suppliers of vegetables like Chitwand and Kaski are importing vegetables from the capital´s surrounding districts like Kavre, Nuwakot and Dhading,” said Bharat Khatiwada, president of Kalimati Vegetables Wholesalers´ Association. “Some traders are supplying vegetables even to Indian cities like Siliguri due to attractive prices.”
He further added that farmers in districts adjoining the capital are supplying vegetables to other parts of the country because of high prices of vegetables there. “Traders are supplying vegetables like capsicum, radish, tomatoes, potatoes and smooth gourds produced in districts adjoining the capital to other cities,” he added.
Arrivals of vegetables at the Kalimati market - the largest vegetable wholesale market in the country - has declined in recent months with the establishment of new market centers at different entry points of the capital. Vegetable arrival in the market is generally lean at this time of year as farmers are busy in paddy fields instead of vegetable farms.
Traders said opening of new market centers has reduced supplies of vegetables in the market and subsequently pushed the prices up. They said prices of popular vegetables like tomatoes, green chilly, capsicum, green pea and cabbage, among others have gone up in the capital.
According to Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Market Development Board - that manages the Kalimati Wholesale Market, wholesale prices of big tomatoes and red potatoes have increased to Rs 45 and Rs 19 from Rs 44 and Rs 16 per kg respectively over the last couple of weeks. Similarly, prices of dry onion and have also gone up to Rs 22 and Rs 14 per kg from Rs 21 and Rs 13 per kg respectively.
However, some seasonable vegetables have become cheaper over the period, thanks to improved supplies. Prices of bitter gourd and bottle gourd have dropped to Rs 20 and Rs 18 per kg from Rs 38 and Rs 34 per kg respectively. Similarly, pointed gourd, snake gourd and cucumber are selling cheaper at Rs 22, Rs 25 and Rs 32 per kg from Rs 26, Rs 40 and Rs 48 per kg respectively.