Navratri spurs demand for fruits

With a lot of people fasting during the nine days of Navratri, health conscious devotees are making a beeline for fruit stalls to stay fit. Traders at the Vashi Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) say they have observed a steady demand for fruits since the start of the festival, which has set their cash registers ringing.

Sour season: Traders say low yield of sweet limes is not keeping up with demand, which has led to a surge in wholesale prices. Pic/Satyajit Desai

APMC fruit traders said that the sharp increase in demand has led to a 30 per cent rise in sales since the nine-day long festival began. Traders also said that groups of women are frequenting the wholesale market and buying fruits in bulk, adding that the demand for Himachal Pradesh’s Kinnaur apples tops the list.

“A lot of ladies who observe the fast are known to buy fruits in bulk from the market, as it’s economical to buy it from here than from a retailer,” said Sanjay Pansare, director of the APMC fruit market.

Lately, the market has been flooded with apples coming from Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. But, the Kinnaur apples, which arrived in the market recently, has been finding a lot of buyers. “Kinnaur apples are of a superior quality.

The reason being that they are much juicer in comparison to other varieties. Also, the dark red colour of the fruit fascinates buyers. These apples, in fact, are giving stiff competition to the imported variety of apples too. The sale of fruits overall has been very good this year during the festive season and we are anticipating sales to pick up further with Diwali round the corner,” said Pansare, adding that a lot of people prefer buying mixed fruit boxes for gifting purposes during the festival.

Not so sweet
Meanwhile, the quantity of sweet limes entering the market has been very modest because of low production this year. In fact, less supply has led to the price of the fruit shooting up considerably this year from Rs 8-14 per kg to Rs 12-20 per kg in the wholesale market.  Traders, however, opine that fresh crop, which will come after Diwali would help in stabilising the prices. On the other hand, there has been an abundant crop of oranges arriving in the market from Amravati and Nagpur. 

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