Friday December 08, 2023

Watermelon sale surges as mercury rises

May 03, 2018

Islamabad: Watermelon, a summer-specialty, is witnessing a surge in sale this year due to rising temperatures and lower prices compared to last year.

The nutritious fruit with sweet watery pink flesh and a lot of black seeds is in high production this year, which is the major reason for its lower prices in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Yasir Khan, a fruit seller at G-7 Market told APP on Wednesday that there was a greater supply this year due to handsome subsidy package given to farmers by the the government.

The watermelon was sold at Rs40 per kg last year, but it was now selling from Rs25 to Rs30 per kg. The fruit, equally popular among all age groups, is being sold in the local markets for the last 15 days and it will remain high in demand for a couple of months till Monsoon sets in, which diminishes its original taste, he said.

A truck load of watermelons is available in the market from Rs200,000 to Rs250,000, and it takes only about a week to get sold, Yasir said. He was of the view that watermelon sale would further rise during the holy month of Ramzan.

Dr Qasim Raza, a general physician, sharing watermelon's nutrition values said it reduced high blood pressure in the overweight people and minimized the risk of heart attacks. More people could be saved from sunstroke if they take the water-rich fruit like watermelon, which helps in maintaining required water level in the body, besides several other benefits he said.

It also aide in reducing body weight, he added. Dr Qasim, however, warned patients with high sugar levels to take this delicious fruit in consultation with their physicians. He especially recommended use of watermelon for those who had to work in the sun for a longer period of time to avoid heat stroke and dehydration.

Imran Shehzad, a customer purchasing watermelon in Pirwadhai Fruit Market, said the fruit was a blessing for the poor. Saleem Khan a security guard at a public school said due to meagre salary it was not possible for him to buy other expensive fruits but watermelon, ''a family feast'' was still in his approach to beat the heat.