PESHAWAR Nov 3 (APP): With start of winter season in Khyber Pakthunkhwa, a substantial increase in prices of dried fruits was being witnessed these days in Peshawar where the commodities were almost out of reach of common man.
According to different markets’ survey on Tuesday, best quality almonds were being sold at about Rs1800 per kilogram, walnut Rs 1,200 per KG, pistachio Rs 2,500 per KG, peanut Rs320 per KG, figs Rs 1400 per KG, apricot Rs500 per KG, dates Rs 250 per KG and pine nut Rs 6,000 per KG respectively.
With rise of chill in Peshawar in wake of cold breeze, prices of dry fruits especially of nuts have almost gone out of reach of middle class and low income groups due to its increasing demand of people and transportation to merged areas, Islamabad and Punjab province.
In Peshawar, prices of dry fruits are sky high as compared to others areas of the province where dried fruit is available in substantial quantity. Apart from regular shops located in markets, dry fruit vendors have become a common sight to behold in the city earning maximum profits.
A dried fruit shopkeeper at Firdus bazaar told APP that most of dried fruits were being imported from Afghanistan to Peshawar and were later transported onward to Punjab and Islamabad due to high profits there.
He complained that some dealers were used to hoard dry fruits, which resulted in a shortage of the commodity in local markets and this eventually led to a substantial hike in prices.
Chilgoza was being produced in Waziristan, Zhob Balochistan and Chalas Gilgit-Baltistan and its prices is expected to slash after its new stock’s arrival to Peshawar in few days.
He said Chilgoza was being prepared through traditional method in the past but now was being properly processed through Chilgoza plants, saving time and money of local growers.
He said Pakistan can earn substantial revenue from Chilgoza by giving special incentives to its growers for purchase of equipment and installation of processing plants at local level besides better training in terms of polishing, frying and marketing.
Dr Riaz Khan, children medical specialist at Govt. Rashid Shaheed Hospital Pabbi Nowshera told APP that dry fruits including almonds, walnuts and apricots were energy boosters and advised people to make it part of diet especially during winter to keep themselves warms and avoid seasonal diseases like flu, temperature due to coldness and persistent cough. He said dried fruits were extremely helpful for patients of high blood pressure and cholesterol.