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"Importer, NGK Trading: "The situation in India is stable"

South Asian food supply at risk

The death tolls due to the floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have risen to over 1,000 people. There has been significant damage and the situation is dire. Many of the flooded villages can only be reached by boat.

Stable situation
According to Gagan Kumar Khosla of NGK Trading, an import company in India, the situation in Haryana, near New Delhi, is stable at the moment. "Fruit and vegetable prices and trade are normal for this time of year. There has, however, been heavy rainfall in some provinces, which has damaged vegetable production there. At the moment, there is a shortage of tomatoes, with an onion shortage on the way. Tomato prices have risen by 50% and onion prices by about 20%." He says there are problems with logistics in the areas that have experienced major flooding. "This time, East India was the worst hit. In July, it was Central India. Supplies to the markets were affected then."

Gagan says the stone fruit market is almost over. "Growers are struggling with production and quality. Apples are currently being harvested and, due to hail damage, they are expecting a somewhat smaller crop. The mango season is over. The Washington apple season is almost over, and there is now a shortage of pears and high quality citrus. The Washington cherry season is also over, but that went well."

Bangladesh: Food supply in danger
In Bangladesh, more than 200,000 people have been affected by the floods. They are receiving food packages. Since a lot of agricultural land was destroyed, the United Nations has reported that long term food supplies are in danger in this country. Loss of crops are "normal" for growers in South Asia. There are floods every year, between July and September. But this year's was extreme. It is estimated that more than 10,000 hectares of land have been washed away. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief has also reported that about 600,000 hectare were damaged by the floods.

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