Pakistan government on Wednesday said it will buy tomatoes from Iran after its supply was partially hit by the lack of import from India and the prices of the fruit skyrocketed between Rs 180 ($1.16) per kg to Rs 300 ($1.93) per kg in several parts of the country.
The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the average maximum national price of tomatoes was Rs 180 per kg, while it was selling as high as Rs 300 per kg in several parts of the country.
Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security said we will consider allowing import of tomatoes from Iran.
Various factors have led to reduction in the supply of tomatoes, including ill-timed government policies and heavy rains which affected its production.
The suspension of trade with India over the Kashmir issue has also contributed to rising prices of vegetables in the domestic market. The supply gap has also been partially supported by the lack of imports from Wagah border from India.
It is estimated that the imports from Iran will help compensate till the time new crop of tomatoes and onions will reach the market in the next few weeks from Sindh.
The Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh claimed that tomatoes were being sold as low as Rs 17 per kg in Karachi’s vegetable markets.