The prices of vegetables and fruits have skyrocketed by up to 200 per cent across Pakistan due to the extended monsoon season, affecting common people in the country, according to local reports on Monday.
Shakeel Abbasi, a salesperson in a superstore Madina Cash & Carry here, told Xinhua that the price of onion was Rs 50 per kg one week ago but it is now being sold at Rs 150 a kilo, while onion prices in other cities including Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan lie in the range of Rs 120 to Rs 140 per kg.
Meanwhile, prices of popular vegetables such as tomatoes, peas, green chilies, capsicum, beans and cauliflower have surged by over 100 per cent.
Local reports said that the price hike was due to the extended monsoon season which has affected vegetable fields and fruit production across the country.
“Another cause of the surge in prices of some of the commodities is the slowdown of supply due to the recent week-long holidays by the truck drivers on the eve of Eid festival,” said Abbasi.
Local media reports quoted vegetable merchants and traders’ associations as saying that the ongoing marriage season among Muslims is also another major reason for the rising prices.
Munir Ahmad, a consumer in Bhara Kahu area of Islamabad, looked disappointed over the increase of prices, saying that ordinary citizens can no longer buy these staple commodities.
“Onions and tomatoes are used in all the vegetable, curry and meat dishes made at our homes, but now we cannot buy enough. If the situation remains the same, it will hurt our monthly budget,” he added.
Some analysts believe the surge in prices is artificial and it is created by producers and suppliers due to the rise in demands after the Eid festival when Muslims sacrifice animals and eat meat dishes.
They are confident that in a month’s time, the crisis would be resolved and rates would return to normal.