LAHORE - A downward trend in the prices of vegetables was observed on Sunday in open market as well as in Sunday makeshift markets, however, the rate of tomatoes is still high hovering around Rs100 per kg.

A survey of the city’s green market revealed that the prices of all those vegetables which had registered up to 150 per cent increase during the last more than one month have now started dropping, providing a little relief to the much affected community of less paid and salaried persons. This is not due to any checking or strictness on the part of the market committee or any other official, rather the supply of these items has now become abundant from the farms said a vegetable vendor.

Experts said that country after losing local production imported vegetables mainly from India and Iran. Duty on vegetable imports from Iran is round about 45 per cent, almost making it impossible for the importer, as rates go high when it reaches at the hands of the consumers.

They said that vegetable prices have declined by Rs10-20 per kg in the wholesale market during a couple of days, as supplies improved from interior of Sindh but retailers in the open market were still charging double.

The rates of vegetables collected from the market are onion Rs45-50 per kg which was Rs55-60 per kg during last week, potato came down to Rs36-40 from Rs55; tomato Rs90-100 from Rs120; peas Rs50 from Rs70; cauliflower Rs30 from Rs40; cabbage Rs20 from Rs60 and green chilly Rs50 per kg from Rs70. Rates of garlic and ginger remained almost constant at the prices of last week. Bitter gourd rate was fixed at Rs70 per kg while pumpkin was fixed at Rs25 per kg and lufa price was Rs40 per kg but was not available. Capsicum was fixed at Rs80 per kg, lemon was fixed at Rs50 per kg and carrot was fixed at Rs25 per kg and radish at Rs20 per kg but sold at Rs20-25 per kg.

Wholesale market sources observed that that prices decreased by up to 30 per cent on different varieties of vegetables including onions, tomatoes, potatoes and others, as supply has increased which has resulted in softening of the prices.

Despite a significant decline in prices at the wholesale market, little benefit was provided to the citizens.

The retailers said that high prices are being charged by them due to increase in the price of diesel and patrol. Prices of other commodities including cooking oil, sugar and flour were also high, which had also affected the vegetable prices.  Agri experts said that Pakistan is self sufficient in production of fruits, vegetables and rice and exports them as county does not possesses sufficient storages.