Prices put fruits out of common people’s reach

KATHMANDU: Fruits may be good for health but they sure are burning holes in wallets. Frankly, the price of fruits is not merely going up, it is soaring to high altitudes leading to a state where buying fruits has become more of a luxury than a necessity.

Seasonal fruits like mangoes and watermelon have become next to unaffordable for the common person. Apples are a delicacy now. They may not be in season but were priced at around Rs 145 a kg just a month back. Apples now are priced at anything between Rs 250 to Rs 270, depending on shop to shop.

“These are still the cheaper variety of apples. Apples from New Zealand cost Rs 300 per kg. We are selling at just a little more than the wholesale rate,” said Dharmendra Kumar, fruit-seller.

Watermelon prices have shot up to double the rate. Last month, you could have bought it for Rs 25 per kg. Now, It is at between Rs 50 to Rs 60 per kg, depending on shop to shop. As per a comparative analysis done by the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Association, the

difference in the price of water melon is at 247.48 percent while for apples

it is a difference of 78.18 per cent.

“The price of bananas has gone down by a few rupees, but overall fruits have become more expensive then usual — one of the factors being low fruit yield this year,” said Baijnath Gupta, fruit-seller.

While the price hike has not stopped people from buying fruits most of them are dissatisfied with the overall inflation. “The new budget says that inflation will be restricted to seven per cent. How can that be possible when the prices of everything are increasing by the day. Fruits are necessary for people, nevertheless only the rich can afford them now,” said housewife Shanti Baskota.

The new budget has stated that inflation would be contained at seven per cent, but the hike in government salaries could pose a reason for market prices of products getting higher and less affordable for the common people.

Vegetable prices hit all-time high

DHANGADHI: Vegetable prices have skyrocketed within the past one week. Consumers say the rise in vegetable prices touched an all-time high in Kailali. According to the current market price, per kg of cluster bean costs Rs 65, a kg of bitter gourd Rs 65, a kg tomato costs Rs 60, new potato Rs 35, old potato Rs 25, cauliflower Rs 70, snake gourd Rs 60 and capsicum Rs 70. Though, it is common to rise price of vegetable in Dhangadhi between mid-June to mid-August every year, this time vegetable prices shoot up by a huge margin. Poor production of vegetables in far-western districts has contributed to price rise, said local traders. Dhangadhi heavily relies on far-western districts for seasonal and non-seasonal vegetables. — RSS