Prices of litchis, jamuns and rose apples go up by a third this year
Mangoes are not the only summer fruit. There is an entire luscious range what is called minor fruits in the business such as litchis, plums, jamuns and rose apples. And, like mangoes, their prices are also high compared to last year, between 25 and 30 per cent.
A senior official in the Horticulture Department attributed this high price to the decrease in yield this year.
“I have been in this business from past 10 years. There is less production of minor fruits compared to last year, hence there is low supply. Customers [love them], but are not buying due to high cost,” said Faisal Ahmed, who sells the fruits on a bicycle around Shivajinagar area. “This year, we are selling litchi and Ooty apple (plums) at Rs. 160 a kg, while they were Rs. 120 last year.”
This year, if you bargain hard, you can get litchis for around Rs. 140 a kg, jamun for around Rs. 120 a kg, and cherries at Rs. 220 a kg. Apricot costs around Rs. 120 a kg and plums and pears Rs. 100 and Rs. 90 respectively.
Demand and supply
Azam Shariff, who owns Fresh Fruits on Brigade Road, also concurred that the rise in prices was due to the good old demand and supply ratio.
According to him, avocado was the cheapest minor fruit at Rs. 50 a kg, followed by figs at Rs. 55 a kg.
Customers, according to Mr. Ahmed, buy these fruits for their nutritional and medicinal value. “Some buy in large quantities and don't usually bother about the price,” he added.
However, there are also customers who buy them for their taste. “I would still buy them but in smaller quantity as my daughter loves fruits, especially litchi and anjeer (fresh figs). It is better to spend money on healthy fruits rather on a pizza or a burger,” said Preeti Sharma, homemaker.
Vineet Naik, who was buying jamun on Infantry Road, said: “I don’t buy litchi as it is too costly. Only rich can afford these fruits.”
Meanwhile, Additional Director of Horticulture (Fruits) S.V. Hittalmani said the weather had impacted minor fruits’ harvest. “While the climatic conditions have adversely affected litchi production, the jamun season is yet to start,” he added.
Keywords: summer fruits