KARACHI: Pakistan is importing tomatoes from India to overcome a shortfall of the commodity due to recent floods and heavy rainfall, sources said on Monday.
“Ready for harvest tomato crop has been damaged by heavy rainfall and floods in the province of Balochistan in recent days. The situation has led to a shortfall of the commodity in Pakistan,” said Haji Shah Jahan, president of New Sabzi Mandi Wholesale Market.
To overcome the shortfall, traders have been importing the commodity from India for the past week. Pakistan is importing an average of 20-25 trucks of tomatoes daily with each truck carrying roughly between 15 and 20 tons of tomatoes, Jahan said.
The commodity is being transported through the Wagah border. “Vegetable markets in Lahore are full of Indian tomatoes, while markets in Karachi are selling both imported and locally grown tomatoes,” he added.
The imported tomatoes are available in wholesale markets at Rs70-80 per kilogram, while they are being sold at Rs100-120 per kilogram in retail. “The retail prices vary depending upon the distance between the particular market and Wagah border,” he said.
On the other hand, locally grown tomatoes are being sold at cheaper prices than the imported ones. “Locally grown tomatoes are Rs10 per kilogram cheaper than the imported ones, available at Rs60-70 per kilogram in wholesale,” he said.
Jahan also said that the quality of locally grown tomatoes this year had been poor due to heavy rainfall and floods. The next crop of tomatoes will be harvested in the province of Sindh in November-December.
“The onion crop has also been damaged by rainfall and floods in Balochistan. However, there was no shortage of the commodity in the country,” he said, adding that the next crop of onion will arrive in markets next month. The crop will be harvested in the province of Sindh.
Onion is being sold at Rs25-30 per kilogram in wholesale at New Sabzi Mandi Wholesale Market, he said.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
From Print Edition
Source: THE NEWS