Vegetable sellers hit hard by restrictions

The partial lockdown has hit hard vegetable growers who routinely sell their produce to markets in towns in neighbouring Maharashtra and Goa.

Wholesale vegetable markets are closed or shifted and local sales are reduced. Transportation across the border is near zero.

Due to restrictions in the three States, traders and growers are suffering huge losses, said Malik Bagwan, vegetable wholesaler. With the extension of day curfew, “we will suffer further,” he said. The State government has extended Janata Curfew till May 12.

The State government extended the timings of APMC yards and wholesale and retail vegetable markets from 6 a.m. to noon . But traffic restrictions and barricades across the city have reduced footfall in vegetable markets.

The prices of vegetables, fruits and flowers have fallen in the wholesale market, said Anant Dhage, a vegetable trader. Chilli is selling at ₹1,000 per quintal and marigold flowers are selling at ₹2,000 per quintal. This is a fall of more than half the price, he said.

Fresh vegetables such as cucumber, cauliflower, capsicum, potato, tomato, beans, carrot and curry leaves that were in great demand in Goa have no buyers now, said Basavaraj Desai, a farmer leader.

Chilli farmers in Khanapur have given a memorandum to MLA Anjali Nimbalkar, to urge the State government to start procurement in APMC yards.

Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha leader Choonappa Pujari blamed the partial lockdown for the crisis. Everyone knows that farmers suffered greatly in last year’s lockdown. That caused a negative effect on the economy. But the government did not learn a lesson from it. Rather than focusing on hospital management and oxygen and drug supply, the government is forcing lockdowns on the poor, in the name of COVID-19 management. This is should stop, he said.

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