The prices of vegetables that soared high due to the unprecedented rains across the island during the last season, would come down within next ten days due to beginning of harvesting, the All Island Unified Economic Centres and Manning Market Traders Union (AIUECMMTU) said.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror Union’s National Organiser H.M. Upasena said the reason for the present vegetable price increase couldn’t be blamed on any person–especially, the government.
“There is a shortage of upcountry vegetables but there is more harvest to come in the low country. But there is a huge shortage of pumpkins in the market,” he said.
The long-term crops such as carrot and leeks would take at least six months to harvest and therefore, there was a shortage of carrot and leeks in the market, he said.
“In the previous seasons, the rainfall was balanced and didn’t affect the crops, but the recent rains were experienced all around the country,” he said. “I have never seen such vegetable price rise during the past forty years of my life,” he said.
“A slight decrease was shown due to less consumption of vegetables by people. If people consume more vegetables the prices would be much higher than the present prices,” Mr Upasena said.
“People should take measures to consume alternative vegetables such as dhal, potatoes, big onions and dried fish as their prices have not changed,”
“The Government, however, had managed to import potatoes and big onions to control the price increase,” he said.
According to the Central Bank price of Local Red Onions and Green, Chilies had decreased in the Dambulla market due to favourable supply from Jaffna, Nochchiyagama and Puttalam areas.
The retail prices of a kilo of selected food commodities in Pettah are as follows:
Beans- Rs. 305, Carrot – Rs.430, Cabbage- Rs.125, Tomatoes -Rs.375 Brinjal -Rs.83, Snake Gourd – Rs.113 and Pumpkin – Rs.165.