Vegetable prices in Lahore rocketed on Sunday as the smog coupled with fog hindered their supply from other provinces.
The early footfall of winter season usually brings good news for consumers on the vegetable prices front but this time, the prices of vegetables such as green peas, cauliflower, carrot, green chilli and leafy vegetables have not dropped. The average price of vegetables was rupees 50 per kg at the Shadman Sunday Bazaar compared to rupees 40 last Sunday.
Green peas were being sold at Rs 160 per kg in the retail market while it was being sold at Rs 140-150 in the wholesale market. Mungray were being sold at Rs 100 to Rs 120 in the retail market. The price of cauliflower was Rs 40-50 per kg. Prices of green chillis reached Rs 100 per kg or Rs 400 per 5 kg in the wholesale market. Leafy veggies like coriander, palak and methi were being sold at Rs30-40 per kg in the retail market.
“As we are not getting enough supplies from other provinces, the prices have shot up,” Umer Rehman, a trader told Pakistan Today.
Another wholesaler at the Shadman market, Akram said that the prices of most of the seasonal vegetables shot up because of the smog and fog.
“Trucks have failed to deliver vegetables in the wholesale market,” he said.
A vegetable vendor Nasir said the soaring prices of vegetables have badly affected his business.
“It is difficult for me to meet ends since consumers blame us for price-hike. My business has been badly affected and I have to argue with customers.”
“I used to buy vegetables for Rs 200 twice a week, but now the same quantity of vegetables cost anything between Rs 300 and Rs 350 which is unfair. Even coriander leaves and green chilies, which used to be complimentary with vegetables, are now being sold with a price tag of over Rs 10-15 for 100 grams. The increase in the vegetable prices has forced me to exclude these from my shopping list,” said Athar Ali, a resident of Mozang.
Market Committee Inspector Riaz Bhatti said that prices of vegetables will decline within next few days as the supply is expected to improve with the clearance of weather.
“It is likely to rain in the coming week and that will end this smog and fog. The smog has hampered the supply of vegetables and that is why the prices have increased,” he said.
Meanwhile, the price of tomatoes and onion which are a staple in almost every kitchen got dearer in the retail market. The current prices of tomatoes have already soared up to Rs 200 per kg in retail markets and would remain so for at least next two months. The onion was selling at Rs 100 per kg in the retail market.
According to wholesalers, the prices have increased due to a reduction in the supply of tomatoes and onions from other provinces due to the fog and smog.