Local produce price remains unchanged ahead of Ramadan

The local market area around the north end of Male’ City gets extremely busy with pedestrians and traffic during Ramadan every year.

This is the time when locals bargain ‘aggressively’ for the local produce which they then transform into various dishes for the evening.

A tradition of locals going that extra mile during the month in preparing food for the evening – to break their fast – also means a rise in demand for fresh and local produce like lettuce, tomatoes and even watermelons which rises extremely in demand during the month.

While the sacred month for Muslims is just a week away, with the local market area slowly starting to pick up on the ‘hassle’ of people gathering to trade, it is noteworthy that the general prices on local produce remain unchanged.

Onions are regarded as a high-on-demand item during Ramadan, but the prices have not fluctuated in either direction and have been constant between MVR140 to MVR150 for a bag of onions. Potato bags are still at MVR210 each.

Onions sold based on weight is at MVR12 per kilo while potatoes sold in the same manner are priced MVR8 per kilo.

Egg cases amount around MVR290 to MVR300 per case – which is usually the normal bargain price range. Eggs sold individually are priced at MVR1.50 per egg.

Several vendors and local farmers have mutually chimed the locally produced watermelons will be available from the market area during Ramadan.

Some of the vendors noted that though watermelons are significantly absent from the market, many have procured and expects the local produce to reach Male’ during the next seven days. Meaning, that by the Ramadan welcomes the locals they will be able to buy the most in-demand item from the local market.

Other notable and prominent fast-moving produce include ginger sold at MVR25 per kilo, cucumber sold at MVR35 per kilo and serrano chillies sold at MVR50 for 100 grams while habanero chillies are sold between MVR65 to MVR70 for 100 grams.

Lettuce is priced at MVR70 per kilo while beetroots are sold at MVR45 per kilo and tender coconuts are sold at MVR20 a piece.

Close inspections revealed that the locally produced habanero chillies are the rarest item at the local market currently and due to its scarcity and the relative high-demand for it, local habanero chillies are sold between MVR400 and MVR450 per kilo.

In addition to this several other locally produced items that are usually frequent at vendor tables by the time Ramadan arrives, seems to be scarce in numbers. These include locally produced mangoes and sweet potatoes.

Though watermelon is currently rare across the market, most vendors had assured they will be procuring them within the next few days.

Although the prices remain unchanged right now, it is expected based on vendor speculation and a potential rise in demand on the items, that the prices for many of the items available from the local market area may hike.

However, it is also noteworthy that based on the demand and the quantity of the items brought into Male’ from local islands the prices may either decrease or increase.

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