Sharp increase in prices of watermelon

RAWALPINDI: The price of the watermelon has surged sharply to Rs 30-40 per kilogramme, as compared to Rs 20-25 last year. The main reason behind the increase in prices is the sharp decline in the production. Besides this, the rise in the cost of transportation has also resulted in the increase in price. The Rawalpindi Wholesale Fresh Fruit Association President Ghulam Qadir Mir said that currently a truck load of watermelon is priced at Rs 200,000 to Rs 250,000 depending upon its quality, as compared to Rs 100,000 to Rs 150,000 last year. He, however, did not mention the actual quantity of watermelon in a truck load. The main production hub of this commodity is Larkana and Sukkur. The watermelon also arrives from Sargodha and Lasbela. Currently, it is coming from Larkana and Lasbela. As production of the watermelon has declined as claimed by Qadir, many markets are giving an opposite impression in which a number of push-cart owners are seen in huge numbers. Many traders are seen standing on roadsides in many areas, especially in the evening. Some traders have their own way of trading. Sometimes they sell it on trucks and Suzuki vans, while others feel satisfied by selling it under the tents on the footpaths. Qadir said that in view of increasing temperature and the scorching heat, the demand of watermelon is still very high as compared to last year. About the wastage of the fruit, he said that usually 10-15 percent of it goes to waste during shipment. However, there are is actual estimate of the wastage during sale at the wholesale and retail markets.

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