Fresh stock will keep only a week
Falsa season is here but prices are as high as Rs400 per kilogram. A grower explained why the popular fruit is so expensive this year.
“It is an expensive crop to produce,” said Khalid Memon, a manager for falsa crops in Hyderabad. The land it is grown on has become more expensive. Its rent has gone up.
The government set price at the Commissioner’s office Rs189/kg (for May 10) but this is lower than how much it costs to produce the falsa: Rs200/kg.
Falsas are also expensive to produce because the labour rates have gone up. The work of sowing the seeds is done by women. The falsa is one of the most difficult fruits to grow and it takes a lot of effort to pick the berries in the field.
There are supply chain problems that also contribute to the high prices. When the fresh produce arrives at the sabzi mandi, the staff there charges 10% as a commission from producers to allow them to sell it in the market. This adds to the final price that trickles down to the customer in the city.
Falsas are not exported much because they cannot be stored more than 24 hours and this is why retailers don’t buy large stocks. The only way to store falsa is in the form of juice concentrate which can be frozen for up to a month. Fresh falsas will keep only about a week.