“Almost every vegetable we used to buy is reaching Rs 100 per kilo, if this is how the price continues to shoot up. What do we eat?” questioned D Chaitanya, a resident of Gaddiannaram.
Many denizens said they had cut down on their regular intake of cauliflowers, tomatoes and potatoes due to the price hike. “We don’t know when the prices would come down, until then it seems we have to opt for less amount of vegetables,” said Kalyan Sukumar, a resident of Banjara Hills.
According to farmers, the rise in prices of pulses and vegetables stems from the state government’s inability to establish storehouses in agrarian lands and procure stocks at the minimum support price (MSP).
“If the stock is procured from the farmers at the MSP rates, this would weed out all the middlemen, who hoard the stocks till the prices rise. Irrespective of what the farmers grow, all of them have faced a severe crop loss this year. And, the middlemen or traders have chanced upon this opportunity to stock the harvest till the prices are hiked and the common man has to bear the brunt of it,” said D Vijaypal Reddy, general secretary, Telangana Farmers’ Association.
He further implored that the farmers in the state do not have the capability to stock their crops in godowns, because that is a pricy affair.
“If the state government builds godowns for the farmers, wherein the godowns are owned and managed by them. It can easily curb the inflation rates. But that is not the case,” he added.
Similarly, agricultural experts say that the farmers must be provided with proper facilities for them to transport their harvests.
“The limited quantities of stocks being sent to the farmers’ market shows that there is rampant hoarding in play. Firstly, the government needs to ensure that there is a check on the price and the quantity of edibles being procured by the markets to weed out middlemen,” said G V Ramanjenyulu, executive director, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.
However, the people of the city are less concerned about the middlemen. Their worries are limited to the steep hike in the prices of edibles in the city.
“The prices in the city are skyrocketing, before we go to a market we need to check our bank balance to ensure that we can sustain ourselves for the rest of the month,” said P Jyothirmayi, a resident of Nacharam, while adding that the price rise in the market has forced them to change the menu for their daily meals.
“When common edibles are costing us Rs 100 per kilo, we would obviously look at cheaper options like pumpkins or radishes,” she added.