The price of lemon in Dar es Salaam has sharply plunged by 75 per cent for a 50kg sack, thanks to supply increase in recently days.
The price plummeted from 200,000/- last month to 50,000/- yesterday after farmers, according to traders, experienced bumper harvest.
A ‘Daily News’ spot survey in some markets in Ilala and Ubungo districts revealed that there was bumper crop yields in Shinyanga, Morogoro and Tanga, hence pushing down wholesale prices considerably.
A lemon trader at IlalaBoma Market, Mr Omary Juma, complained about low business despite high fruit supply. For instance, he said they were receiving over five sacks a day compared to one sack a month ago.
“The business is there despite low prices. This makes it difficult to realise profit,” Mr Juma, who trades at one of the largest lemon markets in Dar es Salaam said.
He noted that due to bumper crop customers were not coming to IlalaBoma Market as lemon suppliers were selling the fruit at many other markets on the city outskirts.
Most of the lemons are coming from Shinyanga, Morogoro and Tanga depending on the season.
However, currently most of them are coming from Tanga up to the end of next month and then Morogoro will chip in. Another lemon trader at Mabibo Market, Mr Ezekiel Shabani, said the business was hard as a lemon was sold at about 100/- compared to 500/- a month ago.
“This is a tough lemon season due to top bumper harvest and we see a drop of customers…we are only trying to survive until the low season,” Mr Shabani said.
He said the problem was storing the lemons until the low season started.
“We are merely trying to make ends meet. Mostly we want to retain our customers until the next low season starting late next month,” said Mr Shabani.
A lemon customer and food vendor at Ilala-Boma Market, Mama Husna, said it was a joy season as prices favoured them.
“The bumper harvest this season for us is a great joy as it makes it easier for us to get lemons easily and cheap,” Mama Husna said.