High rates keep customers away from dry fruit shops

Our Correspondent
Wednesday, Nov 17, 2021

Rawalpindi : The high prices of dry fruits, usually known as the ‘charm of winter season’, have kept the common people away from shops amid fast decreasing temperatures in the winter season.

According to the shopkeepers, the dry fruit shops start witnessing a rush of customers from November because eating dry fruit is one of the favourite pastimes of the people.

The people who love eating dry fruits have no choice except to buy them significantly higher rates to satisfy their cravings. The most selling dry fruits, that have shown considerable hikes in prices this year, include almonds, pistachio, walnuts, and cashew nuts. The rate list displayed at the shops showed the price of one kilogramme of ‘chilghoza (pine nuts)’ as Rs5,500; figs Rs1,800; almond Rs1,000; almond nuts Rs1,400; ‘mewa’ Rs600; cashew nut Rs1980; pistachio Rs.1,880; pistachio nuts Rs3,000; apricot Rs580; and walnut nuts Rs1,700.

Babar Jan, a shopkeeper at Raja Bazaar, said the customers take a keen interest in walnuts that are mostly brought from Central Asian states but rising transportation costs also caused a hike in their prices. When asked, he said almonds have been brought from Iran and Afghanistan and when they reached Quetta the rate was Rs500 per kg, adding “When they were shipped northward their rate increases up to Rs1,000 due to rising fuel prices.” The frustrated buyers mostly belonging to the middle class of the society have complained that price hikes have made it difficult for them to enjoy dry fruits in the winter.

“Now the time has come when the elite class of the society can only enjoy dry fruits because the low-income people have no financial resources to buy them,” said Ahsan Ellahi, a visitor at the market.