DNA Explainer: Here’s why lemons are squeezing our pockets

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Apr 14, 2022, 03:13 PM IST

An proverb goes – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” But wait, this fits no more. The new proverb should be – “When life gives you lemons, hoard them.” Such is the situation of food inflation in India. Lemon has already hit the double and triple century in many retail markets across the country. The king of fruits, mango is no where near in the competition. 

One fruit which is making headlines due to its unprecedented high price this season is the humble lemon, an essential part of our diet during summers. The price of this citrus fruit is witnessing one of the steepest hikes for the last one week.

A single lemon is retailing between Rs 10 and Rs 15 in most markets. Traders are surprised and say such prices are unprecedented. While lemons are selling at around Rs 350 a kg in Ghaziabad wholesale vegetable market, it is being sold at Rs 10 per piece in Hyderabad.

A single lemon costs somewhere between Rs 18 to Rs 25 in Gujarat. It is selling for around Rs 300 per kg in wholesale market. Retail prices have soared further to Rs 400 per kg in Jodhpur. In Delhi, one piece lemon costs more than Rs 10. Here lemon prices are ranging between Rs 300 to Rs 350 per kg. 

Read | No lemonade for common man? Single lemon now costs Rs 10, prices higher than apples, oranges

“The prices have gone really high. Earlier, we used to purchase a whole lemon sack for Rs 700 which now costs Rs 3,500. We are selling a single lemon for Rs 10 and nobody is ready to buy it. Nobody is ready to accept that the prices have gone up and are leaving without the purchase of the lemons,” a vendor told ANI.

So here we try to look at the real reasons behind this price hike, how much lemon is grown in the country and what is the way forward to bring the rates under control. Here’s the problem and possible solutions.

What is leading to price rise?

1. There are multiple reasons behind the steep price rise of lemons which is very essential during summers. Reports suggest that the extreme heat this year in many lemon-growing areas is damaging the market-ready crop, leading to price rise.

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, which are known for their lemon production, are witnessing unpreceedented temperature rise this season.

2. One of the main reasons why lemons and other vegetables are seeing soaring high price is the hike in petrol, diesel and CNG prices that have led to an increased transportation costs. Since March 22, India has witnessed a rise in fuel prices 14 times which has pushed transportation costs.

Vegetable sellers say that due to the increased transportation cost and the ultimate hike in the buying price, they are bound to sell vegetables at a higher price.

3. Another reason that is attributing to the soaring lemon prices is that there is a shortage in supply amid high demand. In the summer months, lemons are high in demand, owing to which there is already a rise in prices. Annually, India produces over 37.17 lakh tonnes of the fruit, which is consumed domestically. The fruit is neither exported or imported.

Incidentally, India is the largest producer of lemons in the world.

4. Damage of crops in Gujarat due to unfavourable weather conditions and a cyclone has also made the situation worse. A cyclone has destroyed plants in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat.

Read | As lemon price surges, netizens react with hilarious memes

Top 10 lemon producing states in India 

1. Gujarat is on top for the lemon production in India. The total production is of 605.62 tonnes with a share of 19.24% of India’s total share. 

2. Andhra Pradesh ranks on second position in the list of top states in India based on lemon production. The total lemon collection here has been 562.01 tonnes and the state’s share to India is 17.85%. 

3. Madhya Pradesh enjoys the third position with production of 306.73 tonnes and contributing 9.74% of its share to India’s total lime production. 

4. Karnataka is on the fourth position with 306.21 tonnes of lemon production. The state shares 9.73% of India’s total share of lemon production. 

5. Orissa is on the sixth position for lemon production. It produces 259.83 tonnes of lemon and has a total share of 8.25% to India. 

6. Maharashtra is on the sixth position in the chart of top lemon producing states. The state’s total lemon cultivation is 250.62 tonnes with a share of about 7.96%.

7. Telangana produces 178.25 tonnes of lemons in India and contribute 5.66% of its share to the country’s total lemon production. 

8. Tamil Nadu has hit the target of producing 118.46 tonnes of lemons as of 2018 reports. The state shares 3.76% of its total share to the country.

9. Bihar is on the ninth rank for its lemon production. With a total production of 113.19 tonnes of lemon, the state contributes 3.60% of its share to India. 

10. Assam’s lemon production counts to 112.40 tonnes as per the reports of 2018. The state’s total share is 3.57% to India’s total lemon produce. 

(As per 2018 data on lemon production in India)

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