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October 10, 2013

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Veg prices on the rise after crops flattened

GREEN-LEAF vegetable prices have soared 15 percent at wholesale as growers rush to harvest crops after typhoon rainstorms devastated fields.

However, agricultural authorities say the supply of greens is currently stable.

Many fields were flooded in suburban areas which suffered the heaviest rain on Monday night and Tuesday, including Songjiang, Qingpu and Minhang districts.

Officials said prices of leaf vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage, plus celery may rise in the next few days. However, at a wet market on Changning Road in Changning District yesterday, prices had already shot up.

Green vegetables and celery were selling for 2.5 yuan (41 US cents) per kilogram — up 40 percent compared to two days ago.

Around 13,000 hectares of vegetables were flooded by the typhoons. Some greenhouses were also damaged.

In Songjiang District, up to 70 percent of the vegetables were waterlogged, according to Sun Lianfei with Songjiang Vegetable Growing Technology Promotion Station.

“We have taught farmers how to save the vegetables to lower losses,” Sun said.

“We’ve also asked them to sow more seeds as soon as to ensure supplies before the next cold front comes.”

Authorities said insurance agents have started evaluating losses for compensation.

Wholesale markets sought to reassure city residents, saying  there is a sufficient storage of vegetables from production bases around the country to meet shortfalls.

The daily supply of locally produced vegetables is about 9,000 tons, among which 4,100 tons is green-leaf veg, according to the Shanghai Agricultural Commission.

Meanwhile, tangerine growers said the downpour may affect the quality of tangerines which are in harvest season.



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