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Feature

'Maldivian' touch missing from local market

The auspicious month of Ramadan - from the Islamic calendar - is two days away and the local market area looks barren of local produce unlike every other year.

"Local produce will be less during in this Ramadan compared to past years, rain had been a limiting factor in many cases," a local vendor told.

The main item from local market a local produce has been bananas which the vendors are selling at a price of MVR 3.00 to MVR 6.00 per banana. Chili on the other hand is the most abundant produce available for sale from the market slots.

Imported chili produce from India and Africa are selling at a price between MVR 400.00 to MVR 500.00 per kilo while Habanero-Chili is sold at MVR 35.00 to MVR 50.00 for every 100 grams.

The most abundant produce every other year has been watermelons - which is the top-pick during Ramadan for Maldivians - however it is lesser seen around market stalls. Currently the local market slots are offering foreign produced watermelons which are sold between a price range of MVR 25.00 to MVR 35.00 per kilogram.

The most famous local island for watermelon agriculture Thoddhoo is believed to ship in their produce around Tuesday according to one local vendor. "Watermelons will pick up supply around later Ramadan," the vendor said.

Meanwhile papayas are sold at a price of MVR 12.00 per kilo and the fast-moving items like onion and potato are believed to slice down their prices during Ramadan. Onions are expected to be sold starting at MVR 190.00 and reaching MVR 180.00 as lowest selling rate per bag while potatoes are expected to hit a selling rate of MVR 380.00 per bag.

Egg cartons will be sold at a price of MVR 330.00 during Ramadan.

Government and public owned State Trading Organization (STO) is already selling fast-moving items like onion and potatoes at retail prices for customers. Onions are sold at MVR 8.00 per kilogram on retail price while potatoes are sold at MVR 9.00 per kilo. Retail price on eggs are at MVR 1.50. The company's wholesale center sells onions at MVR 170.00 per bag and potatoes MVR 200.00 per bag while MVR 270.00 is priced for egg cartons.

Although Ramadan is just two days away the local produce and the associating 'excitement' at the local market area for bargaining between sellers and buyers is visibly faint this time around.