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20 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Rise in vegetable price

Rise in vegetable price

Prices of vegetables as well as some spices continue to be on the high side in the kitchen markets of the city as stated in a report in this newspaper yesterday. This is the time of the year when vegetable prices are usually low because there is abundant supply of vegetables vis-à-vis the demand. About half of Dhaka's vegetables are supplied from Narsingdi and adjoining areas where there has been a decent harvest. Actually, the prices have been relatively high since the beginning of the new year. Initially the sellers stated transportation problem caused by the recently held general elections as the main reason behind the price increase.

 However, once price is increased under any pretext it seldom comes down to normal level in this country. And as is well-known market factors rarely play the major role as far as pricing goes in the markets here. Media reports suggest that there is a sufficient supply of vegetables from local business centres to retail and wholesale markets.

Another unfortunate and worrying factor is that the vegetable farmers are not getting any benefit from the price rise. There is a sufficient supply of vegetables from local business centres to retail and wholesale markets. Farmers and the buyers both have fallen hostage to middlemen of the markets. Prices are increasing while changing hands. And the price differentials are inexplicably high. Studies show that consumers have to buy in retail market at a price three times higher the level of farmers. It is mostly the middlemen who are reaping high profits.

Because of prohibitive prices, many families, if not completely forgoing vegetables, are buying these in much smaller quantities. Nutritionist fear long-term health issues resulting from this. A person requires 400grams of vegetables per day. Among children interest in vegetables is rather low. And if now people start buying less green vegetables because of soared-up prices, then the health shortcomings would be unavoidable. According to a FAO study, the number of people in Bangladesh suffering from malnutrition is a staggering 26 million. Hiking the price of food items including vegetables only adds to the problem, and as always it is the poor and the middle classes that will be affected the most.

We urge the concerned authorities of government to regulate wholesale and retail markets of vegetables so that both farmers and consumers can benefit from this.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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