Lahore: After nationwide floods caused massive crop damage, prices of vegetables have sky-rocketed in Lahore with tomatoes costing as much as Pak Rs 500 per kilogram, the media reported.
Shopkeepers have set arbitrary prices after the supply chain was disrupted by floods, Samaa TV reported.
Onion is being sold at Rs 300 per kg and lemon at Rs 400 per kg.
The price for tomatoes is at least six-fold higher than the government rate of Rs 80 per kg while the onion is being sold at five times the official rate of Rs 61 per kg, Samaa TV reported.
The prices of ginger and garlic have also gone up.
“Now the poor man can only gaze at tomatoes and not buy them,” a buyer told Samaa TV.
“Onion which was never sold above Rs 100 a kg, is now being sold at Rs 250 or Rs 300,” he added.
The shopkeepers have blamed staggeringly high prices on market forces, saying that they bought vegetables at high rates from the wholesale market.
As flash floods and overflowing rivers wreak havoc across Pakistan, preliminary estimates show that the country has already suffered damages $5.5 billion worth, Samaa TV reported.
In Sindh and Punjab provinces sugarcane and cotton crops have been destroyed completely while onion, tomato, and Kharif chillies have been partially damaged. The loss of cotton crops alone has been estimated at $2.6 billion. Experts believe Pakistan’s textile and sugar export could drop by $1 billion.
At least 2 million tonnes of wheat stored at the government’s warehouses in Sindh have been spoiled due to rains and floods, threatening the country’s food security, Samaa TV reported.
The destruction in the agriculture sector means that Pakistan will not only encounter a supply shortage for industries but there could also be a seed crisis in the country.