Fruit prices skyrocket in Ramadan
DOT Desk: Prices of fruits have gone up abnormally in the capital’s fruit markets, as demand soared during the month of Ramadan, reports The Financial Express.
Absence of monitoring has been blamed for the price hike, as the fruit traders opted for making quick bucks cashing in on the increased demand.
Consumers have expressed their displeasure over the spike in fruit prices. In several markets like Kawran Bazar, Mogh Bazar, Hatirpool, Rampura in the city, it was found on Tuesday that prices of apple, grape, malta, pear, guava, banana and pineapple have gone up by Tk100-150 per kilogram although no import duty was raised in recent time.
The price of pear has gone up by Tk120-130 per kg, and being sold at Tk350 per kg in the city’s fruit market. The price of the fruit was from Tk160 to Tk170 per kg before Ramadan.
The price of banana witnessed a big jump too. The retailers were asking for Tk40 for one hali (four) bananas, which were available at almost half the price even before two weeks.
Sumi Akhter, a fruit buyer at Rampura Bazar, said: “If you want good and fresh banana, we cannot get it below Tk50. Other fruits also saw big leap in their prices.”
“We being the general people cannot afford high prices,” she lamented.
Karim Seikh, a fruit trader at the same market said, “This is the profit-making month for the traders. We bought our goods at costlier rates, and have to sell them at higher prices.”
At the Hatirpool Kitchen Market, malta was being sold at Tk200 per kg. A week ago, it was Tk110-140 per kg, he added.
Housewife Dilara Begum said: “We used to buy apple from retailers at a rate of Tk160 a kg even two weeks ago and now the price increased to Tk220 per kg.”
Pineapple was being sold at Tk40 per piece, which was Tk20 to Tk25 per piece before Ramadan.
Consumers have complained that traders and dealers are jointly responsible for price hike before Ramadan although, the ministry of commerce and Dhaka City Corporation ahead of Ramadan vowed to take action against the dishonest traders and sellers.
Professor Kamrul Hasan, Department of Horticulture of Bangladesh Agriculture University, told Dhaka Tribune: “Appropriate marketing channels and market functionaries are important in the movement of products from the farmers to the consumers. Inefficient marketing system reduces demand from consumers and participation by farmers, who face significant challenges to participate in the growing markets for high-value nutritious crops like vegetables and fruits.”
According to traders in Dhaka, the supply of dates, one of the most popular Iftar items, will be between 30,000 to 35,000 tons against the usual demand of 40,000 tons.
Noor Hosain, president of Bangladesh Krishi Panno Arotder Samity, told Dhak Tribune: “Green mangoes have already started hitting the market. In the middle of May, ripe mangoes, as well as other seasonal fruits, will start coming in. Meanwhile, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh has initially procured 100 tons of dates which are selling month of Ramadan.”
Dates are usually imported from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Pakistan. Bangladesh also buys dates from various African countries that commercially produce them.
According to the Bangladesh Fresh Fruits Importers Association (BFFIA), the date market is totally dependent on import as the product is in high demand only during the month of fasting.