A delay in the sowing–harvesting cycle has led to the price of garlic skyrocketing in markets in Bengaluru. At the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing Committee (APMC) yard in Yeshwanthpur, garlic was selling at ₹350 per kg on Friday, while in retail markets, the price had touched ₹500 per kg.
Prior to the hike, the selling price per kg of garlic was around ₹100-₹250 in wholesale markets and ₹200-₹350 in retail markets. According to some traders, as there was a delay in the sowing of crops, garlic has not come to harvest yet, which has resulted in a supply crunch in the market.
Jignesh Patel, a wholesaler at the APMC, said that the garlic supply to the market majorly comes from Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan. “Currently, there is no production in Gujarat and Rajasthan, and we are getting garlic only from Madhya Pradesh. This has led to the price surge, and this is one of the highest ever prices for garlic in history,” he said.
The retail vendors, on the other hand, have noticed a drop in garlic buyers. Rajanna, a vegetable vendor in Vijayanagar, said, “I started purchasing lesser quantities of garlic from the wholesale market as the demand has reduced due to the hiked price. These hiked prices bring no profit to vegetable vendors,” he complained.
The rates are expected to gradually come down as the supply is expected to increase in the upcoming weeks. “We saw a sudden increase of ₹60-₹70 per kg in the last few days. Within a few weeks, it might go back to normal prices when new crops hit the market by the first week of March,” said Bhavani Sona, another wholesale trader at APMC.
The rising prices of one commodity after the other have left consumers frustrated. “These price hikes have become a regular thing now. First, it was tomato, then it was onion, and now it is garlic’s turn. We always reduce the consumption of the vegetable that starts costing more, but the government should do something to address these fluctuations,” said Divya Rao, a customer in Mudalapalya market.
With garlic being one of the essentials in the kitchen, hotels also have been affected by the price rise. “For now, they are managing by using processed garlic paste, which is available in the market, but we are hoping that the price will reduce soon,” said P.C. Rao, president, Bruhat Bengaluru Hoteliers Association.