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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Friday, 01 March 2024 9.54 AM IST

Sabarimala season; High demand and low supply drive up prices of goods

price-hike

ALAPPUZHA: As the Sabarimala pilgrimage season unfolds, the demand for indigenous tubers such as taro and yam has surged significantly causing a steady increase in prices across rural and urban markets. Despite the passage of two weeks since Vrichikam, there has been no reduction in the prices of these tubers. The scarcity in rural markets has led to competitive pricing among traders for locally produced goods, albeit with slightly lower costs in certain interior villages. In some areas, the price of local taro has even reached Rs 100 per kilogram.

The period from Vrichikam to Makaravilakku witnesses a heightened demand for indigenous tubers. As Dhanumasa Thiruvathira approaches, a time when steamed tubers are prepared nationwide, the availability of yam, taro and other local tubers is expected to dwindle especially in vegetable trading centers. The surge in demand for these tubers, particularly yams and taro is attributed to the traditional kanji and kuzha (astram) offered as part of the pre-Sabarimala fasting rituals observed in homes and temples.

This increased demand during the Sabarimala season, coupled with a general rise in vegetable prices has affected the affordability of tubers. Reduced production in rural areas has further exacerbated the situation, leading to a scarcity of available tubers and subsequent price hikes. Retailers, facing higher purchase costs, pass on these increased prices to consumers resulting in inflated prices for items like tapioca, plantain, sweet potato, yam, taro and pumpkin. Among these, only bananas have seen a decrease in price since the commencement of the Sabarimala season.

Price list (per kg)

- Raw Plantain: Rs 35

- Jackfruit: Rs 70

- Purple Yam: Rs 80

- Colocasia: Rs 80-100

- Taro: Rs 85

- Tapioca: Rs 35

- Pumpkin: Rs 40

Rajan, a local vegetable merchant highlights that despite the onset of the Sabarimala season, there has been no decrease in prices, except for plantains. He attributes the expensive prices to low production resulting in scarcity.

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TAGS: SABARIMALA, GOODS, YOUTUBERS, PRICE, HIKE
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