KARACHI: The import of Iranian tomato has gained pace as 1,276 tonnes reached the country over the past one week while the government has allowed further import to curb meteoric price hike.
In Karachi, some 16 containers carrying 22 tonnes each arrived on Wednesday, taking the total to 19 containers since the government had allowed the import of Iranian tomato a week earlier.
Wholesale price in Sabzi Mandi on the Superhighway had dropped to Rs180-210 per kg from over Rs300 per kg on Tuesday.
As a result, retail price had dropped to Rs300 per kg after reaching all-time high of Rs400 per kg in Karachi markets on Tuesday.
However, many consumers feel that tomato price is still too high.
Waheed Ahmed, patron in chief, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers, and Merchants Association on Wednesday claimed that “importers had further received government’s permission to bring in 15,500 tonnes of Iranian tomato”.
He said the crop from some producing areas of Mirpurkhas and Badin had also started to arrive.
“Price may come down if imports and local supplies continue to pick up momentum in coming weeks.”
Waheed claimed that the price of Iranian tomato was Rs125 per kg in Karachi and it was the responsibility of the local government to check massive profits of retailers and wholesalers.
The city government on Wednesday quoted lower price of high-quality tomato at Rs213 per kg as compared to Rs253 per kg on Tuesday.
In the first week of November, the official retail price of tomato was Rs117 per kg.
The city government was revising price both upward and downward depending on the supply and demand, but traders hardly sell tomato at the control rate.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2019