Pakistan May Import Tomato and Onion from India After Severe Floods
According to market dealers, the Pakistani government may import tomatoes and onions from India due to the significant rise in the cost of fruits and vegetables in Lahore and other areas of Punjab province as a result of the severe floods.
"Onions and tomatoes were priced at around Rs. 500 and Rs. 400 per kilogram on Sunday in the markets of Lahore, respectively. However, both items were priced Rs 100 per kg cheaper in Sunday markets rather than in regular markets " Jawaad Rizvi, a wholesale dealer of Lahore market, told PTI.
He said that the supply of vegetables from Balochistan, Sindh, and south Punjab has been severely disrupted by floods, thus prices of commodities will rise even more in the upcoming days. "Prices for onions and tomatoes per kilogram could exceed Rs700 in the upcoming days. The price of potatoes has also increased from Rs40 per kg to Rs120kg "Rizvi said.
Vegetables are in short supply in the markets as a result of the floods in Balochistan and Sindh, which destroyed the crops on thousands of acres.
The Pakistani government is exploring the possibility of importing tomato and onion from India across the Wagah border.
Presently, Lahore and other cities of Punjab receive their tomato and onion supplies from Afghanistan across the Torkham border. According to Shehzad Cheema, secretary of the Lahore Market Committee, "One hundred containers of tomato and about 30 of onion are being received at Torkham border daily, out of which two containers of tomato and one of onion are being brought to Lahore city daily. However, the number of containers is insufficient to meet the demand in the provincial capital of Punjab.
He said the floods have caused a shortage of vegetables like bell pepper and capsicum in the market. According to Cheema, the government will eventually import tomatoes and onions from India. He further told that it was impractical to import veggies from Iran through the Taftan border crossing in Baluchistan since the Iranian government had raised import and export fees.
He said that most of Sindh's orchards had been devastated by the floods, therefore the price of date palm and bananas will also increase in the coming days. Due to flooding, the supply of apples from Balochistan or other regions had also been halted. Over 1,030 people have reportedly died as a result of the floods, with 74 of those fatalities reported in Sindh, 31 in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, six in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), four in Balochistan, and one in Punjab.