Leafy greens and ‘Gaunti’ veggies will become more expensive as the festival season kicks off

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August 16, 2022 | 07:12 IST

Leafy greens and ‘Gaunti’ veggies will become more expensive as the festival season kicks off

Herald of the team

MARGAO: With the holiday season approaching, the prices of locally grown leafy greens sold around Salcete have skyrocketed, disrupting the monthly budgets of middle-class families.

Whilst most vegetables, including leafy greens and herbs, are normally brought to Goa from neighboring Karnataka and even villages in Maharashtra, the supply of produce is often disrupted during the monsoon months, resulting in a sharp rise in prices. In these months, as a rule, local farmers who grow small beds of this vegetable come to the rescue.

“This year Gaunti vegetables are more expensive than ever. There is also a poor supply of vegetables outside of Goa due to the rains and it becomes very difficult to manage the family budget while ensuring the children are getting the necessary nutrition and fiber from these iron-rich vegetables,” says Panduram Naik. a resident of Margao. “Fruit has also become more expensive. This has had an impact on the finances of

Low- and middle-income groups,” he added.

Farmers in Salcete traditionally grow vegetables like women’s fingers,

Eggplant, Chili, Long Beans, French Beans, Radish, Cucumbers and the popular Tambdi Bhaji at various locations in Dicarpale, Fatorda, Nuvem, Agalli, Mungul and St Jose de Areal among others.

At Margao market, five to seven radishes cost about 30 rupees, and tambdi bhaji is sold in bundles at 20 to 25 rupees each. The price for 20 large lady’s fingers is 100 rupees. A bunch of long beans costs around 60 rupees, while cluster beans sell for 50 rupees per portion.

Maria Rocha, a vegetable vendor from Borda, said prices for locally grown vegetables vary from place to place. “At the main market in Margao, the same amount of vegetables is more expensive than what we sell on the side of the road,” she said.

She said the season for growing local leafy greens was almost over, and justified the high prices with the demand-supply issues. “No one will be able to bring in large amounts of leafy greens for the next few months. My family grows seasonal leafy greens and fruit for their own use and does not venture into large-scale farming. Our farm is small and we do not use chemical fertilizers. We follow a traditional system of mixed farming,” Rocha explained, adding that the tedious and expensive process of growing leafy greens discourages farmers from growing them, leading to a shortage.

Concessao Pereira, a vegetable vendor from Gogol, said fruit and vegetable prices skyrocket between August and December, the season of religious festivals that peak in the new year.

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