Guwahatians cutting back on fruits and vegetables as prices soar
GUWAHATI: Rising prices for fresh fruits and vegetables in the last several weeks have put consumers in a fix over what is truly affordable for them. Guwahatians have reportedly begun to deter from buying these items, which are a key part of a healthy diet.
“Recently, there has been an increase in prices of all fruits and vegetables. While we vegetarians have no option but to buy vegetables at whatever rate the traders offer, we’re all waiting for prices of fruits to go down to start buying them again,” expressed a buyer at the Fancy Bazar fruit market.
Seasonal fruits such as watermelons and mangoes have seen tremendous rise in prices. The wholesale rate of mangoes has increased from Rs 800 per carton to Rs 1,600 per carton. Simultaneously, its retail rate has increased from Rs 80 per kg to Rs 140 per kg.
Similarly, the prices of watermelon, pineapple and other fruits have also increased. This has led to consumers restraining from buying them.
In Fancy Bazar, the number of street vendors selling fruits and vegetables has also taken a dip.
“It has become difficult as well as expensive to procure fruits and vegetables due to the floods. Even after procurement, we face difficulty in finding buyers who are ready to pay such high amounts and we end up with large quantities lying unsold. Hence, there are days when we do not buy or sell any produce at all to minimise loss,” said Salim Ali, who has been selling fruits along with his brother for around 10 years.
“In Guwahati, the condition is much better than some other parts of the state, where fruits and vegetables are supplied from Machhkhowa, Fancy Bazar and Bamunimadam wholesale markets through buses. In upper Assam, the traders are selling at a much higher rate,” mentioned a vegetable supplier.