Sunday June 04, 2023

Supply disruption causes shortage of food items in twin cities

August 29, 2022

Rawalpindi : The residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are facing a famine-like situation in all weekly bazaars here on Sunday.

The floods not only wreaked havoc in large parts of the country but also did not spare the residents of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad where people have been facing the worst shortage of several food items, especially vegetables. The available food items are being sold at skyrocketing prices as 1-kilogram onion is available at Rs300, tomatoes at Rs250, potatoes at Rs70, capsicum at Rs500, peas at Rs500, cucumber at Rs200, Arvi at Rs130, garlic at Rs400, ginger at Rs400 and coriander selling at Rs250 per pack.

The supply of all kinds of vegetables particularly onion, potato, tomato, garlic, and ginger have been affected in other areas due to the flooding situation. Similarly, prices of all fruits have also gone up due to shortage.

The hoarders have hoarded onion in bulk and now they are selling it in ‘black’ at skyrocketing prices. Some two days back, one-kilogram onion was available at Rs80 but now it is being sold at Rs300 at weekly bazaars. The hoarders have increased the prices of onions by over 300 per cent in two days. The vegetable sellers have also increased the prices of all vegetables by 100 per cent in two days.

A formal assessment of the extent of damages has yet to be done, but the situation already looks quite grim. Vast tracts of farmland across the country are now submerged under water, which means many standing crops have been completely destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of livestock heads have additionally been lost to the floods. Transportation and communication networks have either been disrupted or completely destroyed in many areas, meaning it is no longer easy to move goods from one place to another.

Food and Agriculture experts have warned that the food crisis will further increase in the coming days. The prices of all food items will further increase in the coming days, experts warned.

Vegetable/Fruit Wholesale Dealers Association (VFWDA) senior representative Muhammad Akram Khan told ‘The News’ that they were facing the worst shortage of all vegetables and fruits for some days. All containers were stopped in different localities of Sindh, KP, Baluchistan, and Central Punjab due to the flooding situation. If containers not do not reach us, people of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad would face difficulties in the coming days, he warned.

Not only vegetables and fruits but milk also comes to Rawalpindi and Islamabad from other cities. Given the extent of damage caused to crops and livestock and the disruption in transportation networks connecting farming areas to urban settlements, food shortages in the coming days are likely to happen, which will drive up food inflation even further.

Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rawalpindi Tahir Farooq said that we are trying to control this situation. Prices have gone up due to a shortage of several food items for some days. The situation will be better in the coming days, he hoped.

Inflation has already crossed over 40 per cent and people are leading their lives miserably.

Talking to ‘The News’ Muhammad Sagir, said that onion is available at skyrocketing prices even at weekly bazaar. “I was shocked when seller demanded Rs1500 for 5-kilogram onion,” he said. He said that prices of all vegetables have increased too much, and what will happen in the coming days.