As the supply of various types of locally produced vegetables starts to decline due to the high temperature, prices of vegetables and fruits sourced from outside have gone up at Al Sailiya Central Market.
Local Arabic Arrayah reported that the sellers and traders said the shortage of local agricultural products at this time of the year negatively impacts the retail prices, causing more demand for the imported varieties, which in turn come at higher prices. However, a number of customers have rejected this reasoning and said that such hike in prices is not justifiable, and it reflects the desire of traders and sellers to make more profits exploiting the rising customer demand after the Eid holidays. Accordingly, they called for tighter control on the market and retail prices by the entities concerned to enforce reasonable rates.
The prices seen at the market recently include QR20 for a 6kg box of Iranian tomatoes, a box of 5kg of eggplants QR18, box of capsicum QR15, cucumber QR18, cauliflower QR24, cabbage QR15, lettuce QR30, carrots QR15, okra QR30, green beans QR18, zucchini QR18 and a water melon of around 6kg QR15. The market provides its customers the option to buy by kilogram or a box as well at different sections there, but most customers who often go to the market buy by boxes.
Ghanim al-Saadi, a customer, observed that there is a noticeable difference in the prices of the same item at various sellers, which he said indicates a process of manipulating the prices to maximise sellers' profits.
Meanwhile, he noted that due to the hot weather and shortage of local supply, the items on display are not of good quality and freshness desired by customers. He added that prices have increased considerably immediately after the Eid holidays because of the higher demand due to the return to Doha of many people from abroad.
Mohamed al-Shemeri, another customer, said that this situation was completely normal during this time of the year and he saw the prices were justifiable according to the law of supply and demand.
Mohamed al-Marri, another customer, said he understands the challenges facing both local farmers and traders at this particular time of the year. However, the government gives huge support to the local farmers and practically encourages them to enhance and continue their production all year round. So, this should be translated into some good supply of locally produced vegetables at all time even at modest amounts when the weather is very hot. He stressed that the local agricultural products have seen great development over the past years in terms of quantity and quality, which is considered a praiseworthy effort that should be further invested through the introduction of more sophisticated technology in the field.
In the meantime, a good number of customers stressed that the market is an excellent place for buying fresh products and the retail prices are considerably lower than other outlets across the country.