Rains rob watermelons of Ramzan price hike

Jul 21, 2013, 02:02 IST | Richa Pinto

Retailers refuse to buy watermelons in bulk after heavy rains prevent people from coming out to buy the fruit and break their fast. Wholesalers say price of the fruit, which peaks during Ramzan, has actually dipped as a result

Watermelons sell at a premium during Ramzan as many people prefer breaking their fast with the filling fruit. But heavy rains have forced retailers to go slow when it comes to stocking the fruit in large numbers, leading to an unexpected dip in the price of this juicy fruit.

Vendors sell watermelons at APMC market, Vashi. Pic/ Richa Pinto

Once Ramzan began, the wholesalers at Vashi’s Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) fruit market were expecting a steady business considering fresh fruits are consumed abundantly by people while breaking their fast. However, the nonstop rainfall seems to have washed away all their hopes.

The heavy rains since early this month are not helping them fetch a very good price for the fruits, which are being sold to retailers. In fact, there has been a drop in the purchase order of watermelons, the most popular fruit during the festival. Sanjay Pansare, director of the APMC fruit market, says local retailers are suffering as people aren’t venturing out of their homes due to the incessant rains. He adds, “If the retailer does not purchase from the market on any particular day, we end up having more quantity of fruits.”

Lalu Kumar, another watermelon wholesale trader who had rented a place at the APMC fruit market only for Ramzan, says he isn’t very happy with the state of affairs. “The initial two days were good but then the monsoon affected our business. Fruit vendors who sit on roads are definitely having a hard time. Due to the rains, they do not purchase more quantity till their existing quantity is not sold.” Presently watermelons
are priced between Rs 8-15 per kilo.

Traders believe there has been a dip in their business also because the fruit is consumed in hot climate. “During the monsoon, if people have too much watermelon they may catch a cold due to its cooling properties,” concludes Pansare. 

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