Vegetables prices continue to rise

The price of vegetables continues to rise in the Obour wholesale market.

The price of a kilo of tomatoes in Obour market reached LE6.5 and LE15 in retail, according to the deputy head of the Vegetables and Fruits Department at the Cairo Chamber of Commerce Gamal Allam.

A kilo of onions reached LE1.40, potatoes LE2.70, white eggplant LE2 and pepper LE2.50. The price of zucchini reached LE2.50 and beans LE10.
The reason for vegetable price hikes, especially tomatoes, is due to the end of the season, according to Allam, adding that prices should return to normal within 15 days.
Hot weather has also contributed to damaging large parts of crops, he said. According to Allam, the price of a kilogram of tomatoes in poor areas reached LE12 and in up-scale areas LE15.
Allam said this problem occurs twice a year, at the end of each season. He suggested the establishment of a tomato sauce factory in Upper Egypt that could buy the crops and work to solving the crisis when it happens each year. The factory would help prevent the damage of tomatoes during hot weather and would provide tomatoe sauce to people when prices rise.
Tarek Tantawi, head of Al-Ahram Company for consumer complexes, affiliated to the Supply and Trade Ministry, said the company provides vegetables and fruit constantly at discounted prices up to 25 percent, in addition to providing various food commodities like meat and poultry. He said about 40 tons of vegetables and fruit are pumped into the market per day by the company to confront high prices.
Mohamed Mahmoud, director of the Institute of Horticulture Research, said the results of studies showed that the current high prices of tomatoes are due to the natural decrease in the arable areas of tomatoes during the summer loop. He stressed that Egypt needs a strategy for the cultivation of horticultural crops and vegetables, especially since the Egyptian family relies on two main crops, tomatoes and potatoes.
He pointed out that vegetable crops are facing two problems, marketing and the weak system of agricultural industrialization.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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