The prices of bananas have increased from 150 to 200 per cent at the local markets as compared to last year, making it harder for the consumers to purchase the fruit.
During a survey of local fruit markets, it was revealed that bananas are being sold on a high record price of Rs 200 to Rs 250 per dozen, subject to their quality, with most of them being imported.
Even very rare quality of such food commodity is available at Rs 150 to 180 per dozen in the retail market. Whereas last year, good quality of the fruit was available at Rs 40 to Rs 50 per dozen and the lower quality was sold for Rs 25 to Rs 30 per dozen.
Obviously such an unprecedented increase in the prices have forced the common consumers away from the fruit. Interestingly, banana is not only a food supplement but it also prescribed by the physicians for the treatment of children’s malnutrition and other health complications such as infant diarrhea.
A labourer, Muhammad Arif said that he bought bananas for his children as it was very a cheap fruit, available at Rs 20 to 30 per dozen as compared to other costly fruits. But now it has also become costly and out of reach for poor people and even lower middle class as he cannot afford to purchase it at Rs 180 to 250 per dozen, he uttered.
A local fruit vendor informed Dawn that bananas available in the market are imported from Australia and Brazil due to a lack of routine supply from Sindh areas. But that is very costly and due to the high price, the sale of the banana declined over 60 per cent in the market, he worried.
Earlier they would sell hundreds of dozens daily but now the sale has been restricted to a few dozens only, he noted.
Some local fruit whole sellers have disclosed that the price hike and short supply is due to the destruction of the crop by floods in various areas of Sindh last year.