Lemons at Rs 190 per kg in Andhra Pradesh's Tirupati and Nellore bring tears to consumers
Lemon prices in Nellore markets have been soaring due to the huge demand from northern as well as southern states.
TIRUPATI / NELLORE: The price of lemons in Tirupati and Nellore markets have increased to an all-time high of Rs 180-Rs 190 per kg. While lemon farmers are overjoyed with the hike, consumers on the other hand are not very happy.
Lemon prices in Nellore markets have been soaring due to the huge demand from northern as well as southern states. The price of one kg lemons has become equivalent to that of apples.
Over the last 15 days, Nellore and Tirupati markets are seeing a spike in demand for lemons from Kolkata, New Delhi and other northern states as the produce in Eluru and Telangana's Nakrekal has dropped. This has resulted in the shortage of supply to the northern states.
The price is expected to go further north due to the soaring temperature. Currently, two lemons are being sold for Rs 18-20 across the State. The Podalakuru lemon market in Nellore district has recorded the highest price since 2004.
The price of one quintal of lemons has increased to Rs 18,000 on April 5 from Rs 10,000 on March 30. The story is similar at the Gudur lemon market in Tirupati district. Ongoing Ramadan and upcoming Sri Ram Navami festival is also the reason behind the skyrocketing prices.
Exports from Gudur, Venkatagiri and Jayampu wholesale markets in Tirupati district, and Podalakuru market in Nellore district have also increased compared to the last two years. Lemons are cultivated in about 4,500 hectares in Nellore.
The quantity of exports from Podalakuru market has increased to six trucks a day from two. "We had dumped our produce on roads last year and faced severe losses. After a gap of over five years, the price has remained stable for more than 10 days," K Veeraswamy, a farmer from Podalakuru, said.
"The increase in price has brought some relief to the farmers. This time there is demand from the southern states as well. Lemon is being exported to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Kolkata, Bihar, Ranchi and Gaya. Farmers will be able to clear their debts if the prices continue to go up," Podalakuru Farmers Association secretary S Prabhakar Reddy said.
“I got only three lemons for Rs 20 in the vegetable market. I have never heard of such rates in our area before,” N Raju, a consumer from Nellore city, rued.