Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, May 30
Owing to a considerable shortfall in the consumption demand, the supply of fruits remained limited at the Maqsudan fruit market here.
According to sources, the distribution of fruits has sharply declined in the wholesale market in the past two months. Though the mandis remained open, unavailability of consumers hampered the average sale. Compared to normal days, the quantity of fruits sold in the market fell by around 90 per cent in the first phase of the lockdown and continued to fall about 60 per cent.
However, with relaxations in Lockdown 4.0, local dealers are coping up with losses by reducing the market prices of fruits.
Inderjit Singh, president, Maqsudan Fruit Mandi Association, said though relaxations have been given, many consumers, including hotels, dhabas, restaurants, and marriage palaces, are still buying fruits and vegetables.
“These are major buyers of fruits in the city and their closure substantially reduced the demand. During this season, fruit chart used to remain in high demand. Dealers jointly suffered a loss of over Rs90 lakh due to the lockdown and now, our main focus is to scale up the sale without any loss. We are now storing fruits as per the market demand and have reduced the rates. For instance, the price of one carton of Kashmiri apples, which used to be sold out for Rs1,000, is around Rs500-600. Similarly, one box of cherries is now being sold for Rs80-100, which was earlier sold out for not less than Rs150,” he added.
Other fruit dealers said the business will likely to grow if residents will be allowed to enter the madi. Vijay Kumar, owner, DD Mango Company, said they discarded a huge quantity of pineapple, banana and green coconuts due do the sudden call for the lockdown. “Items worth lakhs decayed in stores as we couldn't supply fruits,” he added.
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