COURTESY TIMESOF INDIA DEC 4
Prohibitive pearl: Heart-healthy garlic’s price causing heartburn Retailing At ₹350-400/Kg; Up 300% From Last Year
Garlic is often the go-to pearl in the kitchen cabinet to keep the heart healthy, especially in winter.
The herb-vegetable which flavours most local winter dishes, especially baingan bharta and undhiyu, is now destroying home budgets, at it presently retailing for anything between Rs 320 and Rs 350 a kg, more than four times the price from last year. Around this time in 2018, dry garlic was retailing for Rs 70-100 a kg.
Market sources said that on December 3, 2018, dry garlic sold in the wholesale market at Rs 6-20 a kg. The price this year is Rs 46-160 per kg.
Deepak Patel, secretary of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee, Ahmedabad, said that supply of dry garlic had fallen by more than 30%.
Last year, at this time, the market received 7,254 quintals of dry garlic. This year this number is 4,820 quintals.
Experts said that garlic crop has been adversely affected by the to unseasonal rains in the state. Even this season, garlic has been sown only on 2,673 hectares against 3,218 hectares last year. Garlic acreage in the state is usually in the region of 13,000 hectares.
Gujaratis eat green garlic in myriad forms, it is a key ingredient in the winter delicacy of undhiyu and lots of people also eat green garlic sauteed in ghee. This will be problem this year, as the price of green garlic has shot up to Rs 350-450 a kg.
The wholesale price of green garlic last year was just Rs 20-30 per kg, which has shot up to Rs 150-200 per kg this year.
This is because supply of green garlic too has fallen drastically, from 62 quintals a day last year to nine quintals a day now.
Citizens said that the high prices have taken the flavour of winter delicacies this season.
“Generally, winter is when we eat garlic liberally as it keeps the body warm and the blood flowing. However, current prices have made it impossible to buy it by the kilo and make garlic paste to be used in bulk,” said Rekha Patel, a homemaker from Vejalpur