Vegetable prices in Egypt have witnessed a more than 50% rise ahead of the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan in light of the increase in demand for commodities.
The price of garlic rose from 6 to 10 pounds for kilogram,
beans from 5 to 8 pounds,
zucchini from3 to 7 pounds,
cucumber from 4 to 6 pounds,
lemons to from 22 to 32 pounds,
green peppers from 5 to 7.5 pounds,
tomatoes from 2 to 4 pounds,
potatoes from 2 to 3.5 pounds,
and fresh onions from 1.8 to 2.5 pounds.
Observers attributed the increase in vegetable prices to the increase in demand and deficit in supply due to the bad weather and delays in harvesting operations.
Unionists attributed the rise in vegetable prices to the decrease in the area cultivated with vegetables, following the losses farmers suffered during the previous supply periods, and to what the Egyptian consumer has caused by the culture of storage before the Ramadan season.
The opening of export markets without prior planning had an impact on the increase in the prices of some crops. This led to a decrease in the quantities available in the market, in addition to an increase in the prices of agricultural inputs.
Trade unionists blamed the chaos and price fluctuations in the markets, which could have been avoided, to the Egyptian government.
In the same context, citizens justified resorting to storing goods before the month of Ramadan in particular and in other seasons due to the instability of prices and the fear of waves of high prices and scarcity of goods, in light of the lack of interest of the concerned authorities.
For its part, the Egyptian Cabinet denied, at the beginning of this month, in an official statement, the rumors of a price increase.
The Egyptian Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade said that the prices of vegetables and fruits in the markets are “stable”, stressing that large quantities of food commodities, vegetables, fruits, meat and fish are pumped, with reductions ranging from 15% to 20%, in all supply outlets.
The ministry added that the increase in the volume of total production of vegetables and fruits in recent years contributes to providing a strategic stock that is sufficient for local consumption and achieves a surplus for export abroad.