Cash crunch: Shortfall in fruits and veggies in Ghaziabad this winter
Officials said that the Sahibabad fruit and vegetable market is still reeling under the after-effects of the demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. They said that the supply of fruits and vegetables to the wholesale market is gradually decreasing.
Rajesh Yadav, the secretary of agriculture produce marketing committee, said, “The prices of vegetables have dipped a bit while those of fruits have remained stable. However, the sale of fruits has dipped as consumers are mostly buying only vegetables, for daily consumption. The arrival of apples from Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Himachal Pradesh dipped considerably after November 8.”
As per official data, 1,774 truckloads of fruits and vegetables arrived in the first eight days of November, at an average of around 222 loads per day. However, the number of truckloads that arrived from November 9 to November 21 was 2,659, down to an average of 205 loads per day.
Officials said that most transactions in the market took place in cash, but now, the traders are depending on the supply of stock on credit as well.
“As of now, I have nearly Rs1 crore in rotation on account of supplying on credit. Not even a single person came to remit cash on Tuesday. Whenever I approach them, they say they don’t have enough cash. The sale of fruits is down by 70%-80% and we have also stopped asking for the supply of apple from J&K. The sale of apple, grapes and oranges has been considerably affected,” Raees Ahmad, owner of Sangam Fruits at the market, said.
Munim Zafar of Madina Fruit Company said, “We used to procure nearly 500kg-700kg of kinu (kinnow fruit) from Punjab. Now, the procurement is around 200kg per day. Consumers don’t have much cash-in-hand to buy from here. Generally, we used to order two-three truckloads (of fruits) per day, but we ordered just one truckload in the last three days.”
Wholesalers said that farmers are also losing money due to dip in sales as they have to pay for parking the truck in the market for additional days.
“To move our stock, we are selling potato at Rs12-15 per kg against the rate of Rs30 per kg prior to the demonetisation move. Similarly, we are selling cauliflower at Rs2 per kg against Rs20 per kg earlier. Tomato prices have also reduced from Rs20 per kg to Rs8 per kg. This has also led consumers to purchase basic vegetables to meet daily food demand,” Haji Sajjad, a wholesaler, said.
According to official figures, the market received around 168 quintals (1 quintal = 100kg) of apples per day in the first week of November. The supply dipped to an average of 93 quintals per day from November 9 to November 22. The supply of oranges also dipped from an average of 453 quintals per day to an average of 306 quintals per day, after November 8.
However, the supply of guava has remained constant, at 220 quintals per day, from November 1 to November 22.