Coronavirus outbreak: Supply situation improves, but veggie prices skyrocket

Updated: Mar 27, 2020, 10:47 IST | Team mid-day | Mumbai

Dadar market opens on Day 2 of lockdown, even as high cost of moving goods in crisis drives up street prices

Vendors say the closure of APMC has reduced supply. Pic/ Shadab Khan
Vendors say the closure of APMC has reduced supply. Pic/ Shadab Khan

The Coronavirus lockdown has hiked the sale of vegetables by 30 per cent across city markets since last week and pushed prices up by 150 per cent at some places. During a visit to vegetable markets in the city and in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, mid-day found that police have enforced restricted timings and given strict orders to prevent crowds.

The price rise has been blamed on limited supplies from APMC. Much to citizens' relief, a fresh supply of vegetables reached markets early on Thursday. Prices are expected to normalise once supply is regulated.

Ankit Yadav, a vegetable vendor at Seven Bungalows in Andheri, said, "Police are cooperating with us, they have asked us to make sure people maintain social distancing. The rates of vegetables have gone up because we are procuring them at higher rates too. Tomatoes are costing Rs 80/kg now, last week they cost Rs 30/kg."

"With more and more vendors coming, the situation is slowly going back to normal. Though some are charging high prices for fruits and other produce," said Alka Shandilya, a housewife from Mulund.

"I went to the flower market on Wednesday morning but very little produce was available. Whatever was there was very expensive. A small garland that usually costs R10 cost over Rs 25," said Shweta Parab, another housewife from Mulund.

Parveen Kadiwar, resident of Shantinagar at Mira Road said, "On Wednesday, lady's finger cost Rs 100/kg. Now it has come down to Rs 40/kg. The vegetables are fresh. Meat and egg shops have opened too." Another Mira Road resident, Sonal Parmar, said, "Hawkers were coming only for an hour or two. And vegetables would soon get over. As supply resumes, it will be a huge relief for vegetarians."

A vegetable seller from Borivli, Ramesh Gupta, said, "The cost may get higher with wholesale markets closing."

In Panvel, a 150% rise

Vegetable prices shot up to as much as 150 per cent at the Panvel market on Thursday. Panvel residents were in for a rude shock when they stepped out of their house during the lockdown to replenish their stock of vegetables and fruits on Thursday. At Rozbazar Bhaji Market, onions and tomatoes that were being sold at R20/kg until two days ago were priced at R50/kg. Vendors blamed the lack of supply and closure of the APMC market in Vashi.

"The wholesalers from APMC market have stopped supply and transportation is not available because people do not want to take risks. We have very little stock and prices have gone up. Some vegetables are being sold at 150 per cent more," said Prashant Tarekar, a vegetable vendor at Panvel market.

Shobha Pawar, a vegetable vendor, said, "The prices will come down only after the supply resumes." mid-day also found a spike in fruit prices.

Who's delivering veggies home?

Agrify Organic Solutions
For Mumbai Western Region: Darpan Bendre : +91 7506339233

For Mumbai Central and Thane Urvish Bhaide: +91 97694 93507/ Himanshu Dighavkar: +91 99673 99704 Email: info@agrifyorganicsolutions.com / Log on to: www.agrifyorganicsolutions.com

The Greens, Juhu
9076262620

Breach Candy Fruit Wala
(he's a local guy who delivers to homes in the area) 9820766432

Fresh India Organics, Lamington Road
7738275242
www.freshindiaorganics.com

Zama Organics, Mahalaxmi
zamaorganics.com

Food Stuff Mumbai
9833137480

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