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In expectation of a more stringent lockdown in the country due to increasingly rising cases of COVID-19, people stock up on food supplies, the demand for food products has increased.
Karachi Wholesale Grocers Association (KWGA) Patron-in-Chief Anis Majeed said, “Common people are stocking up their homes more than they used to do.”
Retailers were also making more than usual purchases to stock up their inventory in anticipation of high demand, he added.
Furthermore, ngos and welfare organisations have now rushed to markets as demand is skyrocketing. “This week demand for food items has risen by up to 7%,” said Majeed.
“Pakistan is an agriculture-based economy and it produces a majority of food commodities except for edible oil, which it imports,” he said.
“Although food supply is in abundance, panic among people and hurdles from authorities are making the situation difficult,” he said. “Today, our supply trucks are not allowed to leave warehouses, though food is a basic necessity of any society.”
He said roadblocks in different areas of Karachi and police violence were hindering customers from supplying consumable goods.
Pakistan’s economic center, Karachi, is shut down along with all of Sindh’s province. “If these basic necessities, including edible goods, do not reach the masses, the issue of food security in this part of the country may emerge.
“We request the federal government, Sindh chief minister and Sindh inspector general to stop harassment by police officials of people taking commodities to the markets.”
Ali said all markets in the province were closed due to the virus outbreak, but the food market was open and people could get food supplies without any obstacles.
He said businesses should be supported by the authorities like the commissioner so that sufficient delivery of food products could be made to the markets and retail shops could get such supplies without any difficulties.