Abu Dhabi: The price of fruit and vegetables in the Mina Zayed Fruits and Vegetables Market has increased by a staggering 60-250 per cent for some items as Ramadan kicks off.
Of all vegetables and fruit, tomatoes mark the largest price increase in the market.
According to the Mina Market officials, there is presently no justification for this sudden increase.
“The price of tomato boxes ranged from 25-35 dirhams while it was 20 dirhams before Ramadan. Mint and parsley increased by 100 per cent from less than a dirham to 2 dirhams, the price of potatoes also hiked up by 70 per cent,” a tour at the market revealed.
Hashem Nuaimi, Director of the Consumer Protection Department (CPD), told Gulf News the prices should be stable in the holy month of Ramadan.
“The prices should be controlled more and the customers should control their purchases in order for prices to drop,” Al Nuaimi advised.
Hadi Al Ahbabi, Market Inspection Director at Abu Dhabi Municipality, told Gulf News: “We called on companies operating in the Abu Dhabi Fruits and Vegetables market to meet the rising demand and continue imports without any delay or increase in price to avoid burdening consumers.”
Al Ahbabi stressed that all types of vegetables and fruit are vital for consumers and should be available without impacting the market movement in a way that leads to a price rise.
Sellers at the Mina Zayed Fruits and Vegetables Market also failed to provide price tags on their merchandise with the approach of Ramadan.
It is understood sellers tend to take the most advantage of Emiratis across the country by charging them the highest prices in comparison to buyers of other nationalities.
A security guard at the Mina Market reported a case of an Emirati woman who was charged Dh58 for a kilo of zucchini that has the initial selling price of Dh 20.
Sellers violating the rules and regulations set by the ministry are subject to penalties after having been issued a primary warning.
If sellers continue to violate the rules, they could then be subject to a monetary fine or have their licenses revoked.
Ministry officials state this situation will be closely supervised to ensure no further violations are taking place in the market.
A market inspector told Gulf News that the major countries importing fruits and vegetables to the market are Jordan and Saudi Arabia.