Farmers boosted supply of agricultural products before the planned week-long closure of the Vashi Agricultural Markets Committee (APMC), which feeds 20 million consumers in Mumbai and millions more in the suburbs and elsewhere Maharashtra.
Data compiled by APMC Vashi showed that total arrivals of agricultural products jumped 15% to reach 617 vehicles of an average of nine tonnes each on Saturday, compared to 538 vehicles of nine tonnes each on Friday. As a number of other vehicles have already been registered with the mandi for the supply of basic goods on Saturday, the total number of arrivals is expected to further increase. Farmers bring their products to APMC Vashi to sell directly to traders, arhatiyas and large consumers. Some large companies also purchase agricultural products directly from consumers.
While vegetable arrivals remained resilient with fewer trucks also arriving in the evening, the largest increase was seen in the supply of fruit.
The sharp increase in the arrival of agricultural products takes all its importance, because the farmers want to unload their products before the beginning of the closing of a week, as planned Monday. Most of the harvested products that have reached maturity, especially horticultural crops like fruits and vegetables, start to rot if they are not sold on time. As quality begins to deteriorate in a day or two due to the intense heat of summer, farmers sometimes get “zero” value on their vegetable trucks.
“The increase in arrivals indicates that farmers are in a hurry to sell their produce before closing. Most farmers are comfortable selling their products through arhatiyas, so they do not explore a link to sell their products directly to consumers, “said Sunil Singatkar, director of APMC Vashi.
The number of cases of coronavirus (Covid-19) increasing steadily and the construction site of the APMC violating social distance and raising fears of its spread, the government of Maharashtra has decided to close the APCM Vashi for a week from Monday. During this period, however, the entire mandi should be rehabilitated and a health check should be conducted on people associated with this mandi directly and indirectly.
Meanwhile, the government is making every effort to stimulate the supply of agricultural products to consumers for whom direct sales to large consumers, including housing co-operatives, have been authorized.
Apart from that, the government has also formed many temporary mandis in small areas in different places for the uninterrupted supply of agricultural products to consumers.