KATHMANDU, 18Â NOV 2014Â – Potato prices have plunged 23 percent over the past two weeks on improved supplies from various parts of the country. Traders said that prices were likely to fall further when the new harvests arrive in the market. Potato prices had jumped sharply a few weeks ago which traders blamed on short supply and rainy weather.
Red potato is available at Rs 50-52 per kg against Rs 65-68 two weeks ago, while white potato is being sold at Rs 45-46 per kg in the retail market. On Monday, red potato cost Rs 39 per kg in the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetables Wholesale Market, the largest vegetable market in the Kathmandu valley.
â€œPotato prices were climbing till the last two weeks, but they started to fall after the supply situation started improving,â€ said Dipendra Shrestha, a potato wholesaler at the Kalimati Wholesale Market. â€œAbout two weeks ago, a 65-70 kg sack of potatoes was being sold at Rs 2,500. Last week, the price came down to Rs 2,200. This week the vegetable is being sold at Rs 2,000 per sack.â€
Shrestha said that prices were likely to ease further in the coming days as they were receiving large shipments from the main potato suppliers like Nala, Mudhe, Panauti and Sankhu. According to him, the Kalimati market is receiving 1,200-1,300 sacks presently against 800-1,000 sacks earlier. Shrestha added that supplies from India and Bangladesh had also swelled leading to a fall in prices.
Similarly, prices of most vegetables have come down in recent days. Wholesale prices of cabbage dropped to Rs 18 from Rs 28 a week ago. Cauliflower, which was sold at Rs 34 per kg two weeks ago, now costs Rs 17 per kg. Similarly, prices of bottle gourd have slipped to Rs 28 per kg from Rs 48 last week.
French bean now costs Rs 38 per kg, down from Rs 55 per kg a week ago in the wholesale market. Broccoli has dropped to Rs 57 per kg from Rs 97, while carrot costs Rs 57 per kg compared to Rs 97 per kg before. Likewise, prices of leafy items like spinach and mustard decreased to Rs 53-58 per kg, down from Rs 80-87 two weeks ago. â€œThe market has been receiving plenty of vegetables from Dhading, Kavre and Makwanpur districts that contributed to the decline in prices,â€ said Shyam Lamichhane, manager of the Balkhu Agriculture Fruits and Vegetables Market.