The wholesale and retail prices of vegetables and fish have shot up in Khulna right after Eid celebrations, due to inadequate supply — creating a burden for those belonging to the lower-income group.
While customers say there is adequate supply, traders claim there is a shortage of vegetables and fish in local and wholesale markets.
For all latest news, follow The Daily Star’s Google News channel.
This correspondent visited at least seven Khulna kitchen markets — including Boyra Kitchen Bazar, Sandhya Kitchen Bazar, New Market Kitchen Bazar, Rupsa Bazar and Daulatpur Bazaar.
He found that brinjal, which was being sold at Tk 40 to 45 before Eid, is going for Tk 55 to 60 per kilo. Green chillies, which could be bought for Tk 85 to 90 per kilo, is being sold at Tk 140 to 150.
Medium-sized prawns at New Market and Gallamary kitchen market, which went for Tk 600 to 700 per kilo, now go for Tk 650 to 800, while large lobsters are being sold for Tk 800 to 1,200 per kilo in Notun Bazar and Rupsha Ghat market.
Ilish that weighs 700 grammes is being sold at Tk 1,200 to 1,250 per kilo, which could be purchased at Tk 1,000 to 1,050 before Eid. A 500-gramme ilish costs about Tk 850 now, which could be bought for around Tk 650.
Mahafuzul Mukul, Resident of Boyra Doctorpara
Wholesalers say it costs Tk 5 to 30 more to buy vegetables from various farms in Jashore and Khulna. The cost of transport and labour has raised prices.
Mahafuzul Mukul, a resident of Boyra Doctorpara, said despite adequate supply, vegetable and fish prices have gone up in almost all Khulna kitchen markets after Eid.
“Ilish that weighs 700 grammes is being sold at Tk 1,200 to 1,250 per kilo, which could be purchased at Tk 1,000 to 1,050 before Eid. A 500-gramme ilish costs about Tk 850 now, which could be bought for around Tk 650,” said Mukul, adding that the rate does not decline when supply rises.
“Per kilo of rui is being sold at around Tk 400, and medium-sized tengra is going for around Tk 550 at different markets in Khulna,” said Tapon Kumar Das, a customer from Pabla in Daulatpur.
“Besides, katla, pangas, tilapia, bhetki, puti are being sold for Tk 200 to 600 per kilo,” he added.
Ruhul Kazi, a resident of Mujjunni area, came to buy vegetables at Boyra Bazar yesterday morning. He said the items are not affordable anymore.
“There’s a kind of invisible hand working behind the rising prices,” he added.
Among the vegetables being sold in the retail market, a kilo of pointed gourd (potol) now costs Tk 35, brinjal costs Tk 50 to 65, taro Tk 50 to 60, long beans Tk 60 to 65, tomato Tk 170, jali (a kind of long pumpkin) Tk 40 per piece, pumpkin Tk 35 and spiny gourd (kakrol) Tk 50.
“These vegetables were going for at least Tk 5 to 15 less per kilo before Eid,” said Gouranga Proshad Banik, a trader of New Market.
“Actually, it depends on supply and demand. Every year after Eid, the market becomes unstable. The demand for fish and vegetables rise since most people crave lighter food after days of consuming rich food like polao and korma,” he said.
Joynal Farazi, an ilish seller of Daulatpur, said, “There were fewer fish imports in the market before Eid, so the price is a bit high. Many fishers have not yet gone to the sea because of Eid.”
Sheikh Palash Hossain, president of Daulatpur Bazar Retail Commodity Traders Association, said prices of vegetables is usually higher in the post-Eid market.
“This is normal because after Eid, consumers are more inclined towards vegetables. Moreover, due to Eid, the supply of vegetables is generally low in wholesale markets,” he added.