Finally respite seems to be in sight for the common man who has been paying through the nose for vegetables. On Friday, approximately 600 heavy vehicles brought in the greens from different places in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat at the Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) wholesale vegetable market in Vashi. This was a considerable rise as compared to the 518 trucks and tempos that entered the market last week.
Traders opined that this could mean good news for them as well as the public. Shankar Pingale, director of the APMC vegetable market in Vashi, said, “For more than a fortnight, only 400 heavy vehicles of vegetables were arriving in the market. This was not sufficient, as at least 600 trucks and tempos of suppliesneed to come to cater to the population of Mumbai, Thane andNavi Mumbai.
The situation has improved since Friday. If it continues, then vegetable prices will soon come down.” Meanwhile, other traders in the market opined that the prolonged rains had caused a lot of damage to the crops. Farmers were unable to enter the fields due to accumulation of water. Another trader from the APMC market said, “After the rains got over, the festive season began. During this time, farmers and their labourers usually don’t work on field. So, they couldn’t take out the produce from the fields. As a result, insufficient number of vegetables was reaching the wholesale and retail market.”
Although a large percentage of vegetable produce is known to come in from various places of Maharashtra, certain items such as brinjal and cluster beans (gavar) are known to come from Gujarat. Due to the recent floods in Gujarat a major chunk of the produce got affected. Hence, no supplies were coming from the province for some time. Ajit Bhorade, a tomato trader from APMC said, “A week ago, tomatoes were being sold at APMC for Rs 40 per kilo. However, today the rate dropped down to Rs 10 per kilo. In the days to come we are hoping the rates of vegetables will come down even more.”