Darjeeling, 8 July
The prices of vegetables in Darjeeling increased by four times due to incessant rainfall that reportedly affected many vegetation plantations in the plains consequently leading to low productivity with suppliers stranded to fulfill the requirements.
For the past 10 days, not only the price of vegetables supplied from outside is on the rise but even the price of locally-produced vegetables has risen beyond the reach of locals and is expected to rise further, said a vendor of the vegetable market at Darjeeling Chowk Bazaar. “We don’t have much to benefit from it but the prices in itself is high at the regulatory market of Siliguri and Dhupguri ~ the two main suppliers of vegetables for Darjeeling ~ that is currently facing shortages.”
In Darjeeling, if the price of brinjal was 10 per kg, it is now being sold at 40. Tomato is being sold at 60 and beans for 120. Similarly, inflation has resulted in the hike in prices of all kinds of vegetables sold in the vegetable market, including fruits. On the other hand, the locally-supplied squash is being sold at 20 per kg. One of the locals said: “If the same continues we might have to purchase the vegetables not in kg’s but in value of per piece.”
Mr Tapan Das, secretary of Siliguri regulatory market association, said: “The continuous rain has damaged plantations in many areas of north Bengal. The regulatory market is currently facing shortages in vegetables. The farmers are in loss as a result of the damage done by the monsoon rain. In addition, prices have risen.”
One of the suppliers said: “If the requirement is of ten tons, we are able to supply only one. People will face a crisis till the government does not come up with solutions to help the farmers.”
It can be mentioned that the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) organises agro-horti techno fair every year to boost the agricultural section of the Hills. However, the motive is barely in practice.
“Most of the vegetation grown in the Hills is based in rural areas. But their production is sufficient to feed their own areas and very scarcely the people of town areas gets to taste the vegetable grown in our own region,” said the local.