Due to the lockdown in APMC Nashik, the vegetable supply in Mumbai has fallen, leading to a rise in prices.
Kusum, a domestic helper in Mumbai, is buying less vegetables than before. It is not because she requires less, but because the prices of vegetables are rising. “I cannot even buy certain vegetables, like coriander or potatoes, they are so expensive. I am unable to get it for myself, for my family,” Kusum said. She has started rationing vegetables and is trying to buy less. “I am unable to manage my monthly expenses, I do not know what to do,” she said.
Consumers in Mumbai are buying smaller quantities of vegetables as the prices have gone up by 20 per cent. The reason for the rise in vegetable prices is due to the lockdown in Nashik. Nashik supplies 70 per cent of vegetables to Mumbai. Vegetable vendors in Mumbai are also having a hard time procuring the vegetables for them to sell. Tushar Jagtap, a vegetable seller, said the supply is inconsistent due to the lockdown, which is making their lives more difficult. “I am a vendor, if I am unable to get the vegetable that my consumer wants then I am getting hampered financially,” he said. He added that vendors are making 30 to 40 per cent losses due to the inconsistency in supply. “There are some vegetable vendors who can afford to directly purchase from the farmers, but not everyone can,” he said.
The farmers are also making losses of roughly 40 per cent due to the lockdown. Sudharma Adve, a potato farmer, said he is unable to sell his crops as the demand has fallen. “When I go to the auctions in APMC, there are hardly any buyers. Due to the lockdown nobody is buying. I get very less prices for the vegetables I manage to sell,” he said.
Meanwhile, the APMC market is also incurring losses. Arun Jayram Kale, secretary, APMC Nashik said that they are losing three to four crores each day. “We used to have over 400 tonnes of vegetables going to Mumbai, but now there are no trucks. Everything is closed. The losses are really high,” he said.
They want the government to regulate the lockdown and exclude APMC from the lockdown. “We are asking the government to allow the APMC to open for at least two hours a day and not keep it completely under lockdown,” Kale said.
The officials said if the supply isn’t back to normal soon then the prices of vegetables will rise even further, thus, the government needs to allow some relaxations to the APMC.