LAHORE - The constant monsoon spell as well as the traders shutter down on Saturday across the country have affected the supply of vegetable, the city wholesale markets of fruits and vegetables also remained shut, creating shortage to a large extent.

The vegetables supplies of which have been severely affected due to rains include lady’s finger, gourd, bitter gourd, tomato, carrot, coriander, onion, potato, green chilli, spinach and cucumber.

Prices of most vegetables registered s sharp increase mainly due to limited supply. However, in Sunday bazaars the customers felt some relief where rates were better as compared to open markets. Dealers said that crops have been destroyed in most parts of the country due to recent rains, besides creating hurdles in transportation, causing shortage of vegetables.

They said that prices are expected to rise more if vegetable supplies gets affected more from the recent flood and rains in Sindh and Punjab. It would take another one month to bridge the gap between the demand and supply of some vegetables and fruits. The wholesale market is also getting a tomato supply from India and China as local supply is almost shut.

According to markets sources, the heavy monsoon rains in Punjab and Sindh have caused a crippling shortage of vegetables and fruits not only Lahore but also in several other mega cities fruit markets.

The rains have caused more than 50 percent increase in wholesale prices of some vegetables and fruits, market sources informed.

Before the heavy rainfall, the spinach which was being sold at Rs10 a kilogram in the wholesale market suddenly jumped to Rs30 per kilogram. The current per-kg rate of coriander in the market is Rs30 which before the rainfall was Rs10 per coriander. The price of green chilli before the rains was Rs60-70 which has swelled to Rs120 a kilo. Likewise, a massive increase was observed in the price of gourd as it jumped to Rs80 from Rs50 per kilo. The price of lady’s finger at Sabzi Mandi before the rains was at Rs40/kg but it is currently being sold at Rs60/kg. The price of bitter gourd was Rs40/kg earlier, which has swelled to Rs60/kg. Moreover, cucumber which was being sold at Rs30/kg before the rains, is now being sold at Rs50/kg. The price of brinjal before the rain devastation was selling at Rs30/kg and now it is being sold at Rs60-70/kg.

According to some farmers, the recent destruction in Punjab districts is due to floods as well as mismanagement on the part of the government. According to them, the government had the idea that this year more monsoon rains would fall but no measures were taken to forestall the damage. Moreover, the banks of natural drains were intentionally breached which maximised the losses.

Farmers said that the government should provide seeds and fertilizers to small farmers at subsidised rates so that they could be rehabilitated. They stressed that the government should also provide interest-free loans to these farmers for their rehabilitation on a sound footing.