Traders in Bihar and Mumbai Agricultural Produce Marketing Corporation (APMC) officials have decided to capitalise on the positive response the litchi trade has been witnessing, with fresh stock of the fruit being brought into the city in air-conditioned (AC) trucks, and plan to bring in other fruits and vegetables using the same method.
The nodal office of the department for post-harvest management (PHM) in Bihar had started sending the fruit to Mumbai APMC market in AC trucks on trial basis a month ago (‘Give apple, take litchi: APMC’s deal with Bihar’, MiD DAY, June 13).
As the fruit fetched good prices in the market and also attracted huge demand from exporters, Bihar’s PHM department has decided to start sending other fresh vegetables and fruits to the APMC market in AC trucks.
“After the success of litchi trading by AC trucks, the PHM department has come up with plans to supply Mumbai with those vegetables and fruits, which are abundant in Bihar, but do not get good returns in the local markets. If the vegetables and fruits are supplied to Mumbai in a fresh condition, they will get a good response. Therefore the department has now geared up to widen the scope of this type of trading,” said Avinash Patil, deputy secretary of APMC market.
Once supply from Bihar starts by AC trucks, fresh pineapples and lady’s finger will be available in Mumbai at cheaper rates.
“With Ramzan commencing in July, there will be a huge demand for fruits, including pineapple. This year Bihar has seen a huge harvest of pineapples, so fresh stock will be available at lower prices during Ramzan,” Patil said.
Playing it cool
The PHM department is currently mulling purchasing more AC trucks to serve the purpose.
Narendra Mohan, horticulture officer of the department, said, “We have seen that trading by AC trucks is quite beneficial as we got good returns for our produce. We could even transport vegetables and fruits, which are not available in Bihar, from Mumbai in the same trucks. We are planning to buy more AC trucks to increase trading.”
The department currently has five AC trucks that reach Mumbai APMC every alternate day.