As supply of fruits was restricted while demand increased, prices of most fruits were quite high and out of reach for common people throughout Jammu.
People who are involved in fruit trade say that most of the fruits which are used in Jammu are imported from other states of the country. As a higher number of cases of Covid-19 are being reported, demand for fruits especially Coconut, Papaya, Kiwi and Citrus fruits like Mosami and Orange have increased significantly. Doctors advise people to increase consumption of citrus fruits along with Coconut water, Papaya and Kiwi. As a result, an increase in demand for these fruits has been seen across the states.
Sham Lal Langer, a BJP member said that as demand for fruits kept on growing, supply chain became more and more stressed. Now, supply of fruits is not able to keep up with sudden increase in demand. Consequently, prices of most of the fruits have increased. Moreover, Fruits mandis of Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra have been closed because of lockdown. It has also negatively impacted supply.
Prices of many fruits have been increased multiple times. Coconut which used to cost Rs. 40-50 now costs around 90-100 per piece. One kilogram of grapes were priced at Rs 100 but it now costs Rs 150-180 per kilogram. Price of one piece of Kiwi has increased to 60-70 per piece from Rs. 20-30. Mosami price has reached Rs. 160 per kg from Rs. 100 per kilogram. Papaya per kg price has also increased from Rs. 40 to Rs. 100 per kilogram.
President of the Jammu Vegetables and Fruits Association, Surinder Singh Kala said that Narwal Mandi opens at 4-5 AM and fruit sellers hardly get time to purchase and make sales. They are not allowed to sell after 10 AM. They have to preserve stocks of vegetables and fruits purchased from Mandi for the next day to sell. Fruit sellers make small purchases in order to minimise their losses as fruits decompose after 20 hours of keeping.
He said that fruits rates are high but vegetable prices are low because of local supply. Price of kiwi is high as it is imported from foreign nations and lockdown has made transportation more difficult. Coconut decays only after two days and its transportation is also full of difficulties. These factors have resulted in increased prices of fruits.