ISLAMABAD-Dry fruits once the most popular and consumed delight of the winter season have turned into a lavish commodity for a common man to buy due to the exorbitant rates amid the prevailing price hike situation.
The majority of the citizens especially those belonging to the low- and middle-income groups are finding it hard to buy their daily eatables like vegetables, fruits, wheat flour etc. due to the price hike situation so buying dry fruits is no more a priority for many.
The nutritional benefits of dry fruits cannot be ignored in terms of increasing the immunity level to fight diseases due to the cold weather in the ongoing winter season. Sajid Khan, a dry fruits seller at Karachi Company, said the price of dry fruits has increased along with inflation. “Selling dry fruits is the only source of income for me and it would be difficult to feed my children and run household expenditures if I didn’t earn maximum profit,” he said.
“The trend of offering discounts on special occasions is no longer limited to the clothes, food items and other accessories of daily life but also being adopted by sellers like me to attract buyers due to its high price,” Sajid Khan added.
He said that he sells almonds (without shell) at Rs. 2800 per kg, walnut (without shell) at Rs. 2200, pistachio for Rs. 3600, apricot for Rs. 1200, dried apricot for Rs. 1600, dried figs for Rs. 3200, raisin for Rs. 1700, dates Rs.1200, Afghani rewari for Rs. 1200 and cashews for Rs. 3600.
“Since pine nuts are not purchased at all by most of the customers due to their sky-rocketing price of around Rs. 14,000, I also cannot afford to keep that in my stock,” he said.
Zahida Amin, a customer at a dry fruits shop at Apbara Market said, “It was my routine from the last many years to buy the whole stock of dry fruits especially almonds and walnuts for the season so that my family can enjoy these with tea.”
But now due to the exorbitant rates of dry fruits and limited purchasing capacity amid the prevailing price hike situation, it is not possible to buy the most wanted nutritional dry fruits which are good for the health, she said.
Asim Azhar, a government employee said, “It seems that dry fruits will become a commodity of a certain segment of society that would be able to afford to buy these otherwise people like me can hardly buy such things except peanuts.”
She said earlier we were habitual of eating dry fruits with green tea daily but now we cannot afford to buy these due to surging rates.
Saleem Khan, a regular customer of dry fruits at Karachi Company said every kind of dry fruit has its nutritional value like almonds are good for the eyes and walnuts for the brain. Dry fruits are essential for kids especially when they are in growing age.
Surprisingly, many of the dry fruits despite local production are costly and out of reach of the common man.
According to health experts, dry fruits are one of the healthiest alternatives to fried or oily snacks and a great way to satisfy your food cravings in the winter.
Dry fruits provide you the much-needed nutrients, vitamins and warmth in the chilly winter season. During busy and short winters, one can have instant energy from the dry fruits. No diet plan is complete without these super-healthy foods as they are filled with various nutrients as well as essential fats. Dry fruits also have many skin benefits and thus form a key ingredient in beauty products.