As tomato prices in Pakistan skyrocketed, Pakistani media has reported that armed me have been hired to protect Tomato farms from robbers. This comes after robbers reportedly looted a tomato farm in Sindh's Badin. Tomato prices in Pakistan is cureently Rs 300/kg with prices going as high as Rs 320 in Karachi. Earlier the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government was considering the possibility of buying tomatoes from Iran.
Criticizing the soaring price of tomatoes, Pakistani journalist Naila Inayat said that Pakistani ministers will now give tomato garland as gifts.
Tamataro ka haar.. pic.twitter.com/QIDtA9B4yf— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) November 15, 2019
As per international reports quoting Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, the average maximum national price of tomatoes was Rs 180 per kg, and it was being sold at Rs 300 per kg across multiple regions of Pakistan. The prices have been affected due to a lack of imports from India, reports suggest. Amid economic turmoil and high tomato prices, farm owners have hired armed men to protect their farms.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Hashim Popalzai, Secretary of the Ministry of National Food Security said that the country is discussing the possibility of importing tomatoes from Iran. “We will consider allowing import of tomatoes from Iran,” he was quoted saying by Pakistani media. “We will think over it and make a decision in the meeting,” Popalzai said while adding that he will be meeting the importers.
Not just imports but multiple factors have affected the low supply of tomatoes, including Pakistan's government policies and the heavy rains which affected the crop, as per reports. Reports have also suggested that the suspension of trade with India over the issue of Kashmir has also been a reason for the rising vegetable prices in the Pakistani domestic market. A partial reason for the supply gap has also been the lack of imports from Wagah border from India, reports said.