Srinagar: Believe it or not Kashmiri Haakh (collard green) is more expensive than chicken in Kashmir, highlighting the surge in vegetable prices burdening the pockets of consumers.
According to a market study conducted by Greater Kashmir, there is a significant price difference between wholesale and retail rates, resulting in skyrocketing vegetable costs in Srinagar marketplaces.
As an example, collard greens cost Rs 120 per kg at Soura Vegetable Mandi, whilst chicken costs Rs 115 per kg, implying that chicken is cheaper than this vegetable.
Furthermore, the wholesale price set by the Parimpora Mandi Association for this produce on Saturday was Rs 50 to 60 per kg.
The distance between Parimpora and Soura is only 5 to 6 km, but the price of collard green is doubled, much to the chagrin of impoverished consumers who shelve their hard-earned money to buy eatables. The Kashmiri Saag is locally produced and it is astonishing to find that its price too has gone up manifold.
The price rise is not limited to one vegetable.
The disparity between wholesale and retail pricing is astonishing, and the authorities have failed to keep track of it.
Tomatoes are offered at Rs 130 per kg with a wholesale price of Rs 90, peas at Rs 150 per kg with a wholesale price of less than Rs 100, bitter gourd at Rs 120 per kg, local gourd at Rs 70 per piece, brinjals at Rs 80 to 100 per kg, and carrot at Rs 60 per kg.
Consumers are requesting the attention of the authorities to put a stop to profiteers who are taking unfair advantage of the situation as a result of the shocking price rise of vegetables in Kashmir.
“Poor consumers have no choice but to buy things, no matter how expensive they are, because no one cares about their plight, and now vegetables have become prohibitively expensive for the general public due to skyrocketing prices. People used to say that if they couldn’t buy mutton or chicken, they would manage by eating vegetables, but today it appears that the poor can’t afford both,” said Muhammad Shafi, a local resident.
Director Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA), Kashmir, Riyaz Ahmad told Greater Kashmir that they would take action against the violators who are selling eatables at exorbitant prices.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Fruit Mandi Association, Bashir Ahmad Bashir blamed the rains for a drop in vegetable production, resulting in price rice.
“There is monsoon across India. This time of the year there is very less outside supply. Furthermore, rains have resulted in a drop in production in Kashmir also, which has caused vegetable prices to rise in comparison to the previous months.”