Fresh fruits flood the market

Skyrocketing prices

Fresh fruits flood  the market

It’s that time of the year when the markets are flooded with all kinds of fresh fruits that are of the best quality only during these few months — watermelons, grapes, water chestnuts, fresh figs, plums, musk melons, mangoes and so on.

But as is the case with each passing year, the market prices seem to be soaring, with homemakers struggling to enjoy the bounty of the season without burning a hole in their pockets.

Metrolife speaks to fruit vendors and homemakers to understand the factors that have led to the price rise.

According to Rayan, who runs ‘A to Z’ in Russell Market, the prices are almost the same as previous years, with a ‘marginal’ increase of five or ten rupees a kilo in the case of some fruits. “The timing for the fruits have been right, except for mangoes which have started coming before the season. Prices haven’t really gone up — raspuri and chausa mangoes cost Rs 180 per kg; a box of alphonso variety costs anything between Rs 900 and Rs 1,200; passion fruit costs Rs 30 a piece and mangosteen goes up to Rs 600 per kg. Even the grapes this year are excellent — there are green, seedless and even oselata varieties available,” he informs.

He justifies the prices saying that the yield is of high quality. “The quality of these fruits is much better than previous years. It’s only for these two to three months that they are in season. After this, they will be of bad quality or just not available for seven months.”

However, another vendor named Mohammed Sardar, feels that the prices of local yields of the seasonal fruits have dropped. “The prices are less because they are in season and because the quantity of produce this year is a lot more than before,” he reasons, adding that the prices do fluctuate to a certain degree on a daily basis.

In his shop, locally grown oranges and anjeer (figs) cost Rs 50 to 60 per kg; strawberries are priced at Rs 30 a box; mangoes start from Rs 60 and go up to Rs 200 for imported varieties and musk melons cost Rs 20 per kg.

According to him, apples are more expensive than earlier, costing Rs 140 per kg.
“I get my fruits from the Electronic City wholesale market, where fruits are brought in from Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and other places. I feel the prices of my fruits, both the local and imported ones, are quite reasonable because the transport cost is also accounted for,” he adds.

At the Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society Limited (HOPCOMS) outlets, where a consolidated price list is decided, circulated and exhibited every morning, consumers understand and stay updated about such fluctuations.

But even if they opt for different sources to obtain their fruits, they have figured out ways to avoid getting cheated. “Fruits are in abundance every summer, especially seasonal ones like watermelon, strawberries and musk melon. It is absolutely necessary to eat fruits and drink fresh juices. If we are patient enough, we can buy them at good prices instead of getting those that are expensive,” shares Prathibha Rajesh, a homemaker.
“I normally buy seasonal fruits at a reasonable price. It’s all about planning and picking up what is available. It always works out well for me,” she concludes.

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