Vegetable prices had risen sharply yesterday due to a severe shortage and also since lorries were yet to arrive at the main economic centres following the three day protest over the plastic crate regulations.
Traders at the Colombo Manning Market said that vegetable prices had increased two or three-fold with a kilo of leaks going up to Rs.250 from Rs. 40, green chilies from Rs. 250 to Rs. 600, tomatoes from Rs.150 to Rs.240, spring onions from Rs.70 to Rs. 200, cucumber from Rs. 60 to Rs.120 and other varieties also recording higher prices.
He said they had been informed that according to the new regulations from January 1 next year it will be mandatory to transport capsicum, bitter gourd, tomatoes, salad leaves, minchi, parsley and other perishable items in plastic crates. While items such as beans, cucumber, beetroot, carrot, cabbage, leaks and snake gourd are to be transported in gunny bags.
He said while the plastic crate system did reduce damage, it did not prevent the heat from damaging vegetables and therefore there was little difference in the use of gunny bags or crates. (Olindhi Jayasundere)