BANGALORE: Dates have always been in great demand during the holy month of Ramzan. This time, around 80 varieties of dates have arrived at Bangalore from the Middle East.
Dry fruit merchant and general secretary of Russell Market Merchants’ Association Mohammed Idrees Choudry, told Express that he alone has ordered a consignment of dates worth around `50 lakh from Mumbai. “The dry fruit was once considered a rich man’s fare, but it is a staple diet in the Middle East which is also the major producer and exporter of dates. Around 300 varieties of dates are produced each year,” he said.
Russell Market hosts a three-day dry fruit exhibition during Ramzan in which several varieties of dates including expensive ones from Iran, Madina and African countries are sold. Seventy per cent of the dates are from the Middle east, particularly Madina, and the rest from African countries.
Most buyers are non-Muslims and many choose dates on the advice of doctors, said Choudry.
Choudry said dates are normally ordered through the Bombay Commodity Market which does business with the international market worth more than `100 crore every day during Ramzan. Traders from all over the country book their consignment here and get their delivery in a week.
Dry fruits, especially dates, are used as food supplements. “Dates are rich in natural sugar, iron and are free of cholesterol. It is good for constipation. It has Vitamin B1 and B2. Ayurveda and Unani medicine advise dates for pregnant women and it is also a good aphrodisiac,” said Dr Hakeem of Ayush Department.
Rates of some varieties at Russell Market
Ajwah-(Madina): Rs 4,100/kg Sagai-(Iran): Rs 3,000/kg
Medjoul King-(South Africa): Rs 1,600/kg
Mabroom-(Baghdad): Rs 850/kg
Saffawi-(Dubai): Rs 600/kg
Mariyam-(Iran): Rs 600/kg
Kalmi-(Madina): Rs 800/kg
Amber-(Madina): Rs 1,250/kg
Sukary-(Madina): Rs 500/kg
Tunisa-(Iran): Rs 500/kg
Common date varities like Omai and Kasa from Madina cost Rs 200 per kg fasting begins from today
With the Moon Sighting Committee announcing that the Ramzan fast, which was supposed to start from Sunday, will now be observed from Monday, thousands of Muslims across the city are prepared to observe the holy month of Ramzan.