The shifting sands of food prices
SummaryInflation pain points have moved fast, from wheat to rice to pulses. What will surprise next?
Mandsaur/Ujjain: From a distance, the field appeared like a post-impressionist landscape. Shades of yellowish green on a patchy canvas of charred brown. 19-year-old Kamlesh, a skinny college student, uprooted a soybean plant and crushed a few pods with his fingers. The beans inside were discoloured—pale and pockmarked instead of the smooth yellow, much smaller than their usual size and fewer in numbers per pod—the consequence of a prolonged dry spell which began in August and lasted for over a month. The beans were ready for harvest but would yield less than a fifth of a normal crop. They will sell at a discount in the wholesale market and not even pay for the labour costs of harvest.