Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Fruits jump out of common man’s menu


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: Want to have an orange? Pay Rs 5 for a fruit the size of a golf ball. Health experts advise their clients to have seasonal fruits. One orange they say gives enough Vitamin C for a day. But at what cost?

There are people for whom the papaya is compulsory. They say its aids digestion so they pay through their noses for the fruit. A half kg sized papaya sells at Rs 100, making it the most expensive fruit after grapes. The prohibitive prices have put fruits out of the reach of the common man.

In a survey carried out at three city markets on Saturday, even the humble guava is selling at Rs 20 for four. Grapes the costliest fruit by far, selling at Rs 280 a kg. A fruit vendor from Jail Road reasoned that grapes are costlier now since they have has just arrived in the market but should come down shortly

The orange is everyone’s favourite fruit. While the bigger varieties sell at Rs 30 for four, the smaller ones cost between Rs 20-25 for the same number.

Apples are costlier in Jail Road where the bigger variety is selling at Rs120 per kg whereas in Polo both the big and small varieties are selling at Rs 100 a kg. Coconut has shot up to Rs 30 a piece. Consumers said a pair of coconut used to cost Rs 20- 25 a few months back.

Sweet lime (Mosambi) is also cheaper in Polo by Rs 20 as compared to Jail Road. Banana (Jahaji) is priced at Rs 60 a dozen..

“Who does not love fruits?” queried a young mother. “But they are exorbitant and many of us who earn lowly salaries just cannot afford them,” she added. Inflation coupled with the frequent hike in fuel prices have had their impact in the Shillong markets. “It’s the sellers’ market here, said a school teacher who claims that it is getting tougher to make ends meet.

It is observed that the prices of fruits generally jump up during religious festival. Fruit vendors make a killing at such times rued a housewife.Laitumkhrah is the costliest fruit market comparatively while Iewduh remains the most affordable place. “In Iewduh one can get apples from Rs 80 onwards whereas the same is selling at Rs150 in Laitumkhrah,” said a resident of RK Mission Road.

Many reason that oranges and other fruits which are grown locally should cost less but acknowledged that middlemen are the reason why fruit prices go up.

Sometimes those who are lucky get the fruits first hand from the farmers. They definitely cost a few rupees lesser than those in the shops, said a consumer who waits for these farmers to make their appearance. Even vegetables cost lesser from them.


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