With Ramzan starting from today, Muslims were seen thronging the fruit shops in the city since two days. The wholesale fruit traders at Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) have been busy with the way certain fruits, which are purchased particularly during Ramzan, were sold yesterday.
Around 60 trucks of watermelon were seen entering the APMC market and according to traders, by the end of the day, the fruit was sold in large quantities. Once the holy month of Ramzan sets in, the sales of other fruits like papaya and pineapple are also expected to go up.
Unlike the previous years, this year, the produce of fruits was not enough and so they had to be procured from other states like Karnataka and Kerala.
According to Sanjay Pansare, director of the APMC fruit market, fruits are an essential part of Ramzan and therefore the sale of those that have a high water content rises during this period. “In Maharashtra, the production of fruits has not been very good this year due to poor rainfall,” he added. “A lot of fruits like watermelon and pineapple require a lot of water to grow. Therefore, traders have been getting these fruits from states like Karnataka and Kerala. Farmers are also well aware that fruits with high water content get a good price during this period and hence grow them in plenty.”
Yesterday, 300 trucks of fruits were seen entering the market. Out of those, as many as 63 trucks were of watermelon alone. Ishwar Gadvi, a wholesaler who purchased two trucks-full of the fruit said that he was sure about selling it all in a day or two. “Generally it takes around four days for a truck-full to be sold. But this fruit has a huge demand during Ramzan every year and the quantity is sure to get over within a day by my estimate,” he said. Another trader who bought 10,000 kg of watermelon said that the price of this fruit goes up slightly during Ramzan. Lalu Kumar, a trader at APMC said, “The produce that I have has come from Mysore. Depending on the size, the fruit would sell from Rs 8 to Rs 15 in the wholesale market.
Prices of fruits with high water content at APMC
Papaya: Rs 25/kilo
Water Melon: Rs 8 onwards (depending on the size)