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Vikash Sharma

Rs 10 for a piece of lemon? Yes, you read it right. The cost of a single piece of lemon has reached Rs 10 at Chhatrabazar, the largest wholesale and retail vegetable mandi in Cuttack. From Rs 20 for four lemons a couple of days back, the price has now reached Rs 10 for a single unit causing severe inconvenience to the common man.

The demand for lemons usually peaks during summer. In Odisha, a lot of people prefer a glassful of lemonade to beat the summer heat. Apart from this, it is one of the basic requirements that goes well with ‘Pakhala’ a local cuisine. Similarly, lemon is also used to add a tangy flavour to curry and other juices.

“I had never heard in my life that the price of one lemon is Rs 10. We paid a maximum Rs 2.50 for a piece of lemon. Usually, prices of all vegetables at Chhatrabazar are cheap compared to other retail markets in the city. But here too the traders are selling lemons at Rs 10 per piece,” said a customer.

The exorbitant price rise of lemon has not gone well with the customers as the State agriculture minister Arun Sahoo had informed the State Assembly last month that Odisha is the largest producer of lemon and mushroom in India.

What Traders Say:

Devendra Sahoo, Secretary, Traders Association in Cuttack said, “The demand for lemons is high in summer and the local production is usually met from Bargarh, Angul, Keonjhar, Berhampur. But this time, the lemon crop has not been sufficient.”

Apart from this, lemons are also imported from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh whenever there is shortage or downfall in local production in Odisha. “When there is low production, the price goes up. We hope the situation will ease after the second crop harvest arrives following the rains,” said Sahoo.

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