Print Edition - 2014-05-23 | MONEY
Rising temperature sends fruits demand soaring
May 22, 2014-
As the temperature rises, the demand for summer fruits has started to soar in the valley. Kuleshwor Fruits Market, one of the major fruit markets of the country, has been flooded with popular fruits like watermelon, papaya, pineapple and mango.
According to Kuleshwor Fruits Wholesaler’s Association, imports of watermelon have jumped 40 tonnes per day, while papaya and mango imports have increased to 30 and 50 tonnes a day, respectively, over the last week.
The domestic market imports the fruits from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, among other Indian states. The government’s statistics show annual imports of mango stand at Rs 136.69 million, while the country imports watermelon and papaya worth Rs 31.59 million and Rs 13.33 million, respectively.
Traders said due to high demand low supply, fruit prices have gone up significantly in the retail market. The prices have increased by at least 15-20 percent over the week. The traders also attributed the price hike to increased shipping costs.
Watermelon, one of the most preferred summer fruits, is sold at Rs 25 per kg in the wholesale market. It was Rs 20 per kg in the same period a year ago. In the retail market, watermelon costs Rs 50-60 per kg. The traders said the valley consumes 50 tonnes of watermelon every day during summer.
The domestic market sells four varieties of mangoes. Wholesale price of Began Phali mango is Rs 60 per kg, Dasheri mango Rs 65-70 per kg and Malda and Gulab Khas Rs 90 per kg. Amar Baniya, president of KFWA, said almost all summer fruits are supplied from India due to low production in the country. He said some watermelons come from Tarai regions.
Meanwhile, traders said fruits supply has dropped significantly compared to last year. “Last summer, we used to receive 5-6 truckloads of watermelon daily, but it has dropped to 3-4 trucks this year,” said Baniya. “As the demand is increasing every year, we are becoming more dependent on the Indian market.”
He said local peaches and litchis are yet to arrive in the market. The fruits are supplied from Trishuli, Dhading, Tanahau and Lamjung.
Published: 23-05-2014 09:05