As border agitations continue, vegetables and fruits may become costlier
With agitating farmers continuing to block most border points in Delhi, traders and agriculture produce market committees on Sunday said prices of fruits and vegetables are likely to shoot up in the capital city this week, unless the central government succeeds in resolving the standoff with farmers who are protesting against three contentious laws passed by Parliament around three months ago.
In Delhi’s Azadpur agriculture market – which accounts for more than 80% of fruits and vegetables supplied across Delhi-NCR – average arrivals have dropped to about 5,500 metric tonnes a day, against the supply of around 11,500 metric tonnes daily during the same time last year, said Adil Khan, chairperson of Azadpur agriculture produce market committee (APMC).
Khan said, “The central government should listen to the demands of farmers and resolve the issue at the earliest. So far, price of fruits and vegetables have not shot up significantly as traders are catering to local supply only for the past one week and not dispatching produce out of state. But now, they are almost out of stock -- the drop in supply is too steep.”
Haji Yamin, a trader based in the Okhla agriculture produce market, said, “Even kitchen staples such as onions, which can be stored for some time, will be out of stock in another two or three days. Supply has been badly hit and soon we will not be able to cater to the local demand either. The government must resolve issues with farmers at the earliest.”
Nandgopal Ravi, a trader based in Ghazipur agriculture produce market, said some produce such as green peas and certain varieties of oranges have already started witnessing an increase in wholesale rates. “In no time, people will see prices going up in their neighbourhood shops and local retail markets.”
Currently, farmer groups camping at around seven different border points in Delhi. While two of them, Singhu and Tikri -- the major points that connect Delhi with states further north such as Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir -- are completely blocked, smaller goods vehicles are managing to ferry fruits and vegetables into Delhi though other narrower roads, thereby keeping the minimum supply chain alive, said traders.
The farmer groups and transporters have called for an all-India strike on Tuesday, even as negotiations between leaders of several protesting groups and the representatives of the central government continued on Sunday.