Food Prices to go up Costly Onam this Year

Published on: 14 Aug, 2013
Published under: Cochin District News, Ernakulam District News


14 August 2013

It’s going to be a costly Onam for Keralites this year. Food prices are likely to go up as the farmers suffered huge losses following heavy rain in State. Thousands of hectares of paddy, vegetable cultivation and banana plantations in Alappuzha, Thrissur, Palakkad and Idukki districts were inundated in rains in June and July.

Though a small player in the market for bananas during the Onam season, Ernakulam district is now facing a shortage of quality bananas ahead of the festive season. More than 800 hectares of crops, including paddy and bananas, have been submerged in Ernakulam district.

According to figures provided by the department of agriculture, nearly 5,000 farmers have lost crops worth more than Rs.25 crore during the last two months. Most of the standing crops that went under water were paddy, tapioca, bananas and vegetables.

Submersion of fields, especially banana plantations in low-lying areas, have forced farmers to harvest bunches even before they are mature. About 80 per cent of banana plants in low-lying areas were totally destroyed, said an official.These markets have totaled sales of just over Rs. 6 crore so far this year, of which Rs.1.18 crore is from the sales of 694 tonnes of vegetables; Rs. 4.5 crore from 2,582 tonnes of bananas and Rs. 60 lakh from 176 tonnes of pineapples.

The official said that price of produces had gone up substantially compared to last year’s levels, helping farmers who had switched to open field precision farming. The farmers are getting Rs. 28 a kg for snake gourds at the auctions against last year’s price of Rs. four a kg. The price of bitter gourds have gone up to Rs 35 a kg from last year’s level of Rs. 15 and the price of vegetable cowpea has gone up to Rs. 50 a kg from last year’s level of Rs. 25.


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