The strike in the agricultural produce market committee (APMC), Vashi, pushed the prices of all vegetables above Rs100 on Tuesday.
While green peas were being sold for Rs240 a kg, capsicum was sold at Rs200 a kg. Lady finger, cabbage, cauliflower and French beans were priced between Rs120 and Rs160. Carrots and tomatoes were sold for Rs80-Rs100 a kg.
Vegetables and fruit traders from the APMC are protesting against the amendment to the APMC act, which allows direct trading of vegetables and fruits outside the APMC markets. This means, traders, cooperatives, self-help groups and companies can directly source the produce from farmers and sell it in retail market.
With fewer intermediaries in the supply chain, the move is expected to bring down the retail prices of essential commodities in the long run. Consumer groups, however, allege the system will not benefit farmers or consumers, unless there is a planned structure. “Our business has reduced to half. Consumers are opting for cheaper vegetables such as potatoes, onions and pulses,” said Irfan Malik, a vendor from Parel.
“The state should have taken all stakeholders into confidence before implementing the decision. They should have come up with a plan to source and sell goods,” said Shirish Deshpande, chairman, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
DM Sable, assistant general manager, APMC, Vashi, said, “Instead of coming to APMC, Vashi, the vegetable and fruit stock went directly to Dadar, Byculla and other major traders in Mumbai. The supply of vegetables to the city has not stopped.”