Farmers boosted the supply of agricultural commodities ahead of a week-long planned shutdown of the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) Vashi, which feeds 20 million consumers across Mumbai and millions of others in suburbs and elsewhere in Maharashtra.
Data compiled by the APMC Vashi showed total arrivals of agricultural commodities jumped by 15 per cent to 617 vehicles of an average of nine tonnes each on Saturday, compared with 538 vehicles of nine tonnes each on Friday. As a number of other vehicles have already got registered with the mandi for the supply of commodities on Saturday, total arrivals are bound to increase further. Farmers bring in their produce to APMC Vashi for sale to traders, arhatiyas, and bulk consumers directly. Some large corporate also procure agricultural commodities directly from consumers.
While arrivals of vegetables remained resilient with a fewer number of trucks enter into evening also, the biggest surge was seen in fruit supply.
The sharp jump in arrivals of agricultural commodities assumes significance as farmers want to offload their produce before the week-long shutdown begins as planned Monday. Most of the harvested matured commodities especially horticultural crops like fruits and vegetables start rotting if not sold in time. With the quality starts deteriorating within a day or two due to intense summer heat, farmers get sometimes ‘zero’ value to their truckloads of vegetables.
“Increased arrivals indicate that farmers are in a hurry to sell their produce before the shutdown. With most farmers are comfortable selling their commodities through arhatiyas, they do not explore link for selling their produce to consumers directly,” said Sunil Singatkar, Director, APMC Vashi.
With the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases increasing consistently and APMC yard is alleged to be violating social distancing and hence poses fear of its spread, the government of Maharashtra has decided to keep the APMC Vashi shut for a week beginning Monday. During this period, however, the entire mandi is planned to be sanitised and health check-up proposed to be conducted on the people associated with this mandi directly and indirectly.
Meanwhile, the government is leaving no stone unturned to boost the supply of agricultural commodities to consumers for which direct sales to bulk consumers including co-operative housing societies has been permitted.
Apart from that, the government has also formed many temporary mandis in small areas in different locations for the uninterrupted supply of agricultural commodities to consumers.