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Shortage of fruits, dates looms ahead of Ramazan

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LAHORE: Punjab is likely to experience severe shortage of fruits and dates during the holy month of Ramazan.

According to official documents available with ARY News, the Agriculture department in its report has depicted import data provided by the Federal Board of Revenue that there is adequate supply of apple and dates available in the province.

However the figures shown by Agriculture department regarding its present stocks of apples, dates and bananas which are important items during Ramazan, are contrary to FBR report and quite alarming. Agriculture department report claims that 44,165 tons of apples have been imported during the first four months of the current year and its available stocks are 15,018 tons. The estimated consumption requirement of apples during Ramazan is about 58,000tons which is almost four times more than the present stock.

Similarly, the available provincial stocks of dates are 5,751 tons and remaining stocks are available in other provinces including Sindh and Balochistan. The estimated provincial consumption requirement for Ramzan-2016 is about 38, 174 which is six times more than the present stocks. Likewise, Punjab government is totally relying on Sindh and Balochistan provinces on availability of bananas which is already short in the market.

The Agriculture department admits in its report that there is a rising trend in the prices of Apple, Dates and Banana is being observed in the local market. It further urged the government to evolving comprehensive plan to ensure supply of apples, dates and bananas during forthcoming Ramazan.

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