High freight charges, demand and supply gap affect fruit prices

Neeraj Bagga

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 19

High freight cost and change of season have upset the supply and demand equilibrium of fruit in the local market, resulting in the exceptional hike in fruit prices.

A majority of fruits comes from different parts of the country. Ours is a border district, situated at the tail end of the country. Hence, freight cost invariably remains high. So, it pricked us the most as the freight cost was increased between 30 to 40 per cent after the diesel rate was exceptionally hiked. — Kanwaljit Singh Pahwa, A wholesale fruit trader

Ritu, a housewife, said a majority of seasonal fruits were being sold at Rs100 per kilogram in the market. She said the government had been disseminating the message of boosting immunity to fight Covid-19. However, it has failed in providing enough jobs and halt the trend in cutting salaries of those who are even in the organised sector as a fallout of Covid-19.

Manjit Singh, an employee, said escalation in fruit prices was another financial burden passed on to the people. He said offering wholesome food to a family became an onerous task as prices of groceries were increasing frequently.

Two varieties of mango — Safeda and Sandoori — are available in the market and are being sold at Rs100 and Rs120 per kg, respectively, in the retail market. Apple is being sold at Rs200 and above per kilogram. No variety of grapes is available below Rs100 per kg. A kg of pomegranate is being sold between Rs80 and Rs100 per kg. Even melon is being sold between Rs40 and Rs50 per kg. The summer season has just started and most of the crop is coming from states like Andhra Pradesh.

Apple available in the market is coming from cold storages as its season was already over in February. Similarly, the season of pomegranate was already over and the new crop would start coming after a month from Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat. As the season of grapes is concluding there is a short supply of it.

He added that since

the Rozas were underway the overall supply of fruit was short from its originating regions as the demand of fruit was extremely high from those states where Muslim population was concentrated. 

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