ISLAMABAD, June 24: As the supplies are becoming plentiful, the prices of fruits are declining in the retail markets of the twin cities, with the racks clearly dominated by vast varieties of mangoes making choices difficult for the buyers.
Similarly, the vegetable stalls continue to be attractive with the availability of fresh, aromatic seasonal varieties at affordable rates. Apart form the cucumbers which have started to show signs of ripening, the prices of most of the summer vegetables have inched downwards in the recent days.
Most of the buyers looked happy purchasing fruits and vegetables at the Sunday bazaars in twin cites organised by the CDA and the City District Government Rawalpindi (CDGR) in their respective jurisdictions.
“The good thing is that the people of this region like to eat seasonal vegetables, this makes our livelihood good too,” said a seller at Shamsabad Sunday bazaar, who belongs to a farming family near Taxila. “Selling directly to customers instead of going through the exploitative hands of middlemen saves us significant amount,” he added.
Like local vegetables, the ample supplies of tomatoes coming from central Punjab have resulted in maintaining their prices below Rs20 per kilogram.
However, the pushcart sellers were even offering tomatoes at Rs12 per kg in Rawalpindi, and due to abundant supplies even the sellers at Sunday bazaars in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, offered to sell the stocky tomatoes below the prescribed rate of Rs16 per kg, near the sunset.
As the summer passes, mangoes are becoming the main attraction for almost everybody, and all those with limited knowledge of this fruit gets confused during the visit to Sunday bazaars.
“Here we see so many varieties of mango that it is really difficult to decide which one to buy,” said a lady who belonged to a Pashtun family, at Peshawar Mor Sunday bazaar adding, “I have heard the names of few varieties but here every stall has a different kind and to make the matter more confusing all of them taste good.”
Incidentally, the witty fruit stall holder said, “That is why it is called the King of Fruits.” Mangoes are available in the range of Rs50 to Rs80 at the controlled rate bazaars, while somewhat better quality produce is available in the retail markets at around Rs80 to Rs100 per kg.
Apart from mangoes, watermelons – though in the ebbing season – continue to attract buyers under the hot sun besides peaches, plumps and the lychee that also continue to pour in and are likely to become cheap in the coming days.