Veggie prices to soar today

Be ready to shell out more at your grocery as apprehensive farmers citing untoward incidents refused to despatch produce across APMC markets

If you think that the end of the strike called by the traders and transporters associated with the Agricultural Market Produce Committee (APMC) markets across the country will bring down the inflated prices of the essentials -- think again. 

Traders gathered in large numbers at Tardeo and carried out an agitation
against the government's decision. pics/rane ashish, vijay Bate

According to APMC traders most farmers, citing untoward incidents on the night of yesterday's bandh, have refrained from despatching their produce to the markets. Hence there is a likelihood that supply will fall short of the demand thereby escalating the prices of essentials.

Trader speaks
According to Shekhar Abhang, a trader at APMC market, "Owing to Thursday's bandh, farmers stopped sending their produce to the market since Wednesday. Hence, we are likely to face a shortage of essentials today. With such a high demand and very low supply, prices are bound to escalate, but not for long. With produce flowing in freely by Saturday, the situation will attain normalcy."

Asifulla Kadri, a Karnataka-based farmer said, "When I got the news about Thursday's bandh, I decided to send my produce to the APMC market in advance. However, most of the farmers have decided to resume the transport post-Thursday midnight, which will reach the market only by Friday evening."

Vijay Shelke, a fruit trader said, "Though the bandh was slated for Thursday, our shops have been shut since Wednesday evening. On an average, each trader associated with the fruits and vegetable section of the APMC market does business of Rs 40,000 to 50,000 and makes a profit of about 10 per cent. This means that traders have suffered a loss of Rs 5,000 each." Currently, over 10,000 traders do business at Mumbai APMC market.

Official word
A senior APMC official, requesting anonymity, said, "Usually, business worth Rs 100 crore is carried out at an APMC market daily, and the government makes Rs 1 crore in the form of taxes it has levied on us. However, during peak season, turnover touches the Rs 300 crore mark. So if you calculate, the bandh has cost the government dearly."

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