LAHORE: Low prices of vegetables have stopped to cause a hole in the consumers’ pockets except for cauliflower, owing to better supply in the market, Pakistan Today has observed.
The prices of winter vegetables such as green peas, cauliflower, carrot, green chilli and leafy vegetables have dropped and are being sold at low prices. Other seasonal vegetables have also become cheaper in the city due to proper supply. Summer vegetables, except for lady finger and bitter gourd, have disappeared from the markets at the onset of winter.
Bitter gourd was selling at Rs70 to 80 per kg while ladyfinger was at Rs300 to 350 per kg, depending on the quality.
Green peas were being sold at Rs33 per kg in the retail market while it was being sold at Rs25 to 30 per kg in the wholesale market. Cluster beans were being sold at Rs30 to 35 per kg in the retail market and the Sunday bazaar.
The price of cauliflower was Rs50 to 60 per kg and green chillies reached Rs75 per kg. Leafy vegetables like coriander, spinach and fenugreek leaves were being sold at Rs20 to 50 per kg in the retail market. Cauliflower was not present at only a few stalls at the Sunday bazaar.
Interestingly, it was present in abundance on the stalls outside the Sunday bazaar but its rate was Rs70 to 80 per kg. The district administration could convince only a few vendors to bring cauliflowers and did not take any action against profiteers. Overcharging on behalf of vendors along with an increase in the prices of some essential items was also witnessed this week in the Shadman bazaar.
The vendors avoided bringing essential items in the weekly makeshift markets due to price fixation issue. The average price of vegetables was Rs20 to 30 per kg at the Shadman Sunday bazaar compared to Rs40 a fortnight ago.
Traders said that truckloads of winter vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, beans, radish, and spinach have arrived in the markets and for that reason, their prices have reduced significantly.
Market Committee Inspector Muhamad Riaz said that the late rains damaged crops of cauliflowers and brinjal, thus impacting their market arrivals. According to him, the prices of winter vegetables would reduce further in the coming weeks because all crops in Punjab are ready for supply to the market.
Muhammad Irfan, a vegetable vendor at Shadman Sunday bazaar said, “Cauliflower is available at Rs250 to 300 per five kgs in the wholesale market and we cannot afford to sell at Rs40 to 50 per kg in the weekly bazaar.”
Meanwhile, the price of tomatoes and onions, which are a staple in every kitchen, further dropped in the retail market. The current price of tomatoes was Rs32 per kg in retail markets whereas onions were selling at Rs43 per kg at the bazaar.
Exchange of harsh words and quarrelling incidents were seen at some places in the weekly bazaars while the administration played the role of silent spectator.