Vegetable price hike puts Ctg residents in backfoot
Even with winter's arrival, vegetable prices in Chattogram city's kitchen markets are yet to decrease, bringing a blow to people from middle, lower-middle and low income groups, who were already suffering due to rising prices of edible oil and rice.
Vegetable traders said the reason for the hike was the damage incurred on many vegetable fields due to torrential rain in the first week of this month, coupled with increased transportation fare after the fuel price hike.
Supply of vegetables in kitchen markets has also decreased in the aftermath of the torrential rain, they said, adding that even in December, a time when there's supposed to be an abundance of a variety of vegetables, the prices have shot up.
Visiting different kitchen markets in the city yesterday -- including Kazir Dewri Kitchen Market, Chawkbazar Kitchen Market, Karnaphuli Kitchen Market and Bahaddarhat Kitchen Market -- this correspondent found that prices per kilo of most vegetables were hovering between Tk 40 and Tk 60.
For instance, in Chawkbazar Kitchen Market, bitter gourd was sold at Tk 60 per kg, while brinjal at Tk 50 per kg. In Bahaddarhat Kitchen Market, okra was selling at Tk 40, ridge gourd at Tk 40, and snake beans at Tk 50. In Karnaphuli Kitchen Market, snake gourd cost Tk 50 and stolon of taro (kachur loti) was priced at Tk 50.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a vegetable trader, said, "Keeping aside the damage caused to acres of vegetable yield, we also have to pay more for carrying vegetables due to increased transport fares, as a result of which vegetable prices are high."
"I earn Tk 250 a day, but I've to buy 2 kg rice, around 2 kg vegetables and half a kilo of dal for my family's daily meals, even after I cut off protein," said Ali Abbas, a cobbler from Chawkbazar area. "I've to pay Tk 100 for rice and Tk 100-120 for vegetables. It's difficult to buy anything else with the remaining amount."
Trishna Acharjee, a school teacher who stays at Bahaddarhat area, said after her husband's demise, she has been maintaining her family of four alone. "This price hike has brought a huge blow for me, as I'm already struggling to sustain my family after the price of rice increased," she said.