PESHAWAR: Following the deportation drive of undocumented immigrants, a downward trend in the prices of vegetables and fruits has emerged in the markets of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the Home Department of the province, more than 219,742 undocumented Afghan nationals were deported to Afghanistan in the last two months. Out of this number, 216,084 illegal immigrants were deported via the Torkham crossing point, 3,239 through Angor Ada of Lower Waziristan, and 419 through the Kharlachi crossing point in Kurram district from September 17 to November 16, 2023. The deportation has not only stabilized the prices of daily commodities but has also led to a decrease in the per-kilogram prices of vegetables and fruits.
Prices of Vegetables and Fruits in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
A survey conducted by the correspondent at fruit and vegetable markets in the provincial capital Peshawar and Nowshera district on Friday revealed significant reductions in prices. For example, before the repatriation, one kilogram of tomatoes was priced between Rs 200 and 250, but it has now decreased to Rs 150. Similarly, potatoes, previously available at Rs150-180 per kilogram, are now being traded at Rs120 per kilogram.
Presently, onions are priced at Rs100 per kilogram, compared to the earlier Rs150, garlic is at Rs100 per kilogram, down from Rs150, and ‘kachalo’ is available at Rs100 per kilogram, previously priced at Rs150, at the Chamkani fruits and vegetable market in Peshawar.
Gul Khan, a fruit and vegetable seller at Pabbi Bazaar in Nowshera district, mentioned that the prices of fruits and vegetables have witnessed a downward trend after the voluntary repatriation of Afghans, bringing relief to people. He expressed optimism that prices would further decrease in the coming weeks as the government completes the repatriation process.
Qasier Khan, a retired Wapda employee purchasing fruits at the Chamkani market, observed stability in commodity prices after a prolonged period and hoped for further decreases once the return process of all undocumented foreigners, including Afghans, is completed.
Ali Syed, a former senior Planning Officer in the Agriculture Department of the KP government, said that the positive impact of the government’s decision on repatriation is now visible in the open market. He urged the KP government to monitor prices closely, activate price review committees and magistrates, and provide more relief to consumers.