The rise in wholesale and retail prices of different vegetables in Lucknow was maximum across over 25 cities in the country this month owing to festive demand, Assocham said in a study.
The study, conducted by Assocham Economic Research Bureau, noted that supply of vegetables in the country declined by about four per cent and their average price rose by over 12 per cent and by about nine per cent at wholesale and retail markets in October.
"The wholesale and retail prices of different vegetables in Lucknow was maximum, rising by over 71 per cent and 52 per cent respectively in October over September, while supply of vegetables in the city declined by over 35 per cent," it said, citing data compiled by the state-owned National Horticulture Board.
"Lack of basic infrastructure puts significant strain in arrival of vegetables which results in more wastage during peak times of production and demand. Besides, because of their perishable nature, producers have to sell the produce immediately as such they fail to gain when prices rise," said Assocham secretary general DS Rawat while releasing the industry chamber's analysis.
The study said arrival of vegetables in Lucknow dropped from over 28,400 MT in September to about 18,300 MT in October. While the wholesale price of vegetables in the city stood at Rs 2,263.8 per quintal in September, it rose to over Rs 3,877.3 per quintal in October.
Similarly, retail prices stood at Rs 3,145.3 per quintal in September, which rose to Rs 3,302.9 per quintal in October, it said.
The study also noted that the average wholesale price of vegetables across major cities in India was about Rs 1,873 per quintal in September, but it rose to Rs 2,100 per quintal in October.
Likewise, retail price rose from Rs 3,051 per quintal to Rs 3,320 per quintal, it said.
Rawat said improper bagging without crating, dearth of temperature-controlled vehicles, lack of cold chain facilities, primitive food processing technology and other such factors collectively resulted in poor post-harvest storage and handling of agriculture produce in most parts of the country.
He said major drawbacks of current supply chain were high level of wastage, quality degradation, poor infrastructural facilities and high cost.
The supply chain management in fruits and vegetables has to be improved in all stages of supply by adopting global best practices in storage, packaging, handling, transportation, value added services and other areas to meet India's demand of fruits and vegetables, Rawat said, adding that government at both the Centre and in states must join hands with private players to improve quality of the supply chain.