Vegetable prices unlikely to cool by Christmas, supply from Tenkasi later

Middlemen stymie Kerala Govt's bid to procure veggies directly from TN

Thiruvananthapuram: Vegetable prices continue to remain high across Kerala despite state government efforts to intervene by direct procurement and delivery in the open market. Since the price of vegetables remain high in North India, attempts to bring loads from there have also failed to yield the desired results.

Vegetables directly procured from the farmers of Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu by the Kerala Government would arrive at the markets only from December 29. Thus, the higher prices would continue to hold during the Christmas holidays.

The State Government earlier decided to bring vegetables directly from the farmers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka after the price of vegetables shot up in the open market a month ago. The idea was to bring vegetables to Kerala for reduced price by avoiding middlemen. But the middlemen in Tamil Nadu scuttled the move planned by the Kerala Government.

Government agency Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) has been tasked with direct purchase from wholesale markets in neighbouring states.

The governments of Kerala and Tamil Nadu recently entered into an agreement based on which Kerala started procuring vegetables directly from the farmers of Tenkasi.

The Agriculture Ministry, however, said that the "tomato vehicle" launched by the department in a bid to arrest its rising price was drawing good response. One kilogram tomato is sold at Rs 50 from the vehicle store. Other vegetables are also sold through the vehicle.


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