KOCHI: Fruits are commonly consumed to break the Ramadan fast. However, prices of fruits including watermelons, grapes and muskmelons, have increased by 25 per cent. Fruit sellers attribute the rise in prices to the increasing demand. Fruit markets in Palayam and the Chalai witness a tremendous rush in the evening, “As it is the holy month, there is a huge demand for the fruits. Also, the summer season adds to the rising demand. Price is dependent on the demand and the supply of fruits,” said Mohammad Badusha, a fruit vendor at Vellayambalam.
As fruits form an integral part of the Ramadan menu at Iftar parties and mosques, it cannot be avoided but the skyrocketing prices make it difficult for consumers. Many complain that fruit vendors charge more than the rates fixed in the market by the Kerala Fruits and Merchants Association. “Three days ago, I bought 1 kg of apples for I150 but now the same vendor is charging me I170 for 1 kg apples,” said Sunil Kumar, a resident of Vazhuthacaud.
Fruit vendors have also pointed out that due to the increased demand of fruits in mosques, they are unable to sell fruits to the street vendors who run juice stalls. “ Although different varieties of mangoes and other fruits such as watermelon, muskmelon and apples are being brought from other states, it is sold out quickly due to an increase in the demand. There has been a 10 per cent increase in the price of fruits such as apples, watermelon, grapes,” said Badusha, a fruit vendor from Kattakada.
There has been a significant increase in the price of lemon - the wholesale rate being I120.
For Malgova mangoes, till last week, the price was I120 per kg but now the price has soared to I160 per kg. “Although the price of the fruits have increased, the sale has not decreased. Customers gather around everyday,” said Nijumuddin who has a fruit shop in Chalai market.