As farmers’ protest enters Day 3, vegetable prices soar
The protest was called ahead of the first anniversary of the death of several farmers in police firing in the state’s Mandsaur (on June 6, 2017).Updated: Jun 03, 2018 23:15 IST
Vegetable prices across various cities soared as the farmers’ agitation entered its third day on Sunday.
In Jaipur, traders said that a fall in supply at Muhana wholesale mandi led to an increase in prices. Farmers in Rajasthan have been stopping trucks supplying milk and vegetables as part of the 10-day bandh. Farmer leaders have been demanding purchase of the produce at minimum support price (MSP) and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report.
Retail onion prices climbed to Rs 15 per kg from Rs 10 per kg, green chilli prices shot up to Rs 15 per kg from Rs 6 per kg, lady fingers at Rs 20 per kg (from Rs 15), and tomatoes at Rs 15 per kg (from Rs 6). Milk shortage was also reported from some parts of the city. “Vegetable supply was down by about 10%. We will not allow hoarding,” said Muhana mandi secretary Ashok Garg.
Meanwhile, wholesale prices of vegetables in Pune are expected to remain inflated by almost 25% for the next two to three days, said officials of the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC). The price of tomatoes soared to Rs 20-Rs 25 per kg against Rs 4-Rs 6 per kg four days back in the wholesale market.
“On Sunday, only 85 trucks carrying vegetables arrived at APMC Pune, which resulted in a hike. Because of the strike, farmers are not ready to send their produce to APMC,” said Vilas Bhujbal, president of Chhatrapati Shivaji market yard traders’ and agents’ association, Pune.
While a similar situation was reported from Madhya Pradesh, there was a good supply of vegetables in markets in the Malwa region, which grows produce and is the epicentre of the ongoing strike. Collectors and SPs in Malwa are meeting representatives of farmers’ associations and are trying to convince them to bring the agitation to an end, said police sources.
Meanwhile, farmers in Punjab and Haryana continued to dump their produce on roads. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said protesting against the government “will not serve any purpose”. “We have always listened to farmers and have come up with many schemes and programmes for their welfare,” he said.
But Punjab CM Amarinder Singh criticised the Centre for allegedly being apathetic to the distress in agriculture. “When farmers, who feed the nation, are forced to take to streets to draw attention to their pitiable condition, it does not augur well for the country,” he said.
(With inputs from Pune, Bhopal and Chandigarh)