Rain, flood drive up veg prices

Dhaka,  Mon,  25 September 2017
Published : 13 Jul 2017, 22:24:13
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Rain, flood drive up veg prices

Potato climbs by 20pc in less than a week
Rain, flood drive up veg prices
FE Report


Prices of potato and vegetables increased last week compounding the sufferings of consumers.

Traders attributed the price hike to heavy rain and flood in places across the country, which disrupted supply.

Potato of granola and diamond varieties prices increased to Tk 20-Tk 25 a kg from Tk 16-Tk 20 a kg.

Desi (local) potato increased to Tk 32-Tk 36 a kg from Tk 25-Tk 30 a kg in Dhaka retail markets.

The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) data showed that potato price jumped by 20 per cent in just five days.

Md Enamul Hoque, a vegetable wholesaler at Karwan Bazar, told the FE that prices have increased by Tk 2.5-3.5 a kg at cold storehouses in Bogra, Narayanganj, and Munshiganj in the last one and a half weeks.

"It cost me Tk 1,950 to buy per quintal (100 kgs) of potato from a cold storage in Munshiganj, which was Tk 1,650-Tk 1,700 earlier," he said.

Bangladesh Cold Storage Association (BCA) chairman M Jasim Uddin told the FE that the price of potato is still less than that of the last year.

He said labour and vehicle shortage before and after the Eid festival caused a slight increase by Tk 1.0-1.5 per kg.

Secretary of Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan told the FE that potato was traded at Tk 6-Tk 8 per kg when traders were storing the produce in April last.

The difference between farm level and retail-level prices of potato seems to be much higher.

He noted that including the cold storage and transportation charges, it costs a trader not more than Tk 12 for a kg of potato.

He said the government should monitor the market to minimise the huge price gap between the farm and city retail level.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the country produces 9.4 million tonnes of potato against a demand for 7.2 million tonnes.  

However, prices of some vegetables further increased as heavy rain and flood in many districts hampered crop fields, said traders.

Prices of snakegourd, pointed gourd, ridgegourd, sponge gourd prices increased by Tk 5.0-Tk 10 a kg.

Rainy season vegetables like eddo, clocasia stem prices also showed a Tk 5.0 hike in a week.

However, prices of farm chicken and sugar showed a slight decline last week.  

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