Bhopal: Prices of fruits, vegetables spiral ahead of farmer’s stir

Bhopal: On the eve of the proposed farmer’ strike, prices of vegetables and fruits skyrocketed in the state capital which witnessed panic buying on Thursday. Even as the prices of most of the vegetables hiked almost three times, the people have flocked vegetable wholesale market to replenish their supplies for the dry days ahead.

Hectic buying and hoarding of fruit and vegetables were witnessed on Thursday as Sabbji Mandi will remain closed on Friday and supply of greens will remain suspended. From Rs 8, price of tomatoes rose to Rs 30, bottle gourd was sold at Rs 30, earlier it price was Rs 30. Customers bought lady finger at Rs 40, which earlier were available for Rs 8 per kg.

Mangoes earlier available for Rs 80 per kilogram, was sold at Rs 120 on Thursday. Similarly the prices of other fruits spiraled as people braced themselves up for the impact of the farmers’ strike. Farmers have threatened to cut off supply of essentials including milk, fruits and vegetables to cities during their 10-day agitation.

Pressing their demands, farmers’ groups, under the banner of the Rashtriya Kisan Mahasangh, will go on a nationwide strike from June 1-10. Their demand include loan waiver, higher prices for produce and implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations on minimum support prices.

A section of local vegetables cultivators, however, have decided not to join the agitation and continue supply of greens to the city. These farmers have their own farm houses and agriculture field at the city outskirt. Kamal Verma of Nav Bahar Sabbiji market said due to proposed farmer strike, people have started hoarding the stocks. Prices of all the vegetables have increased three fold owing to farmers’ strike and off-day of wholesale sabbji mandi.

Ajay Kushwah, who runs vegetable hub near Habibganj Railway station, said, vegetable prices spiralled overnight owing to farmers’ stir and their threat to suspend supplies. “Prices of the vegetable depend on quality and freshness. If it is fresh, normal prices ranges from Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg.

P Rekha, a housewife, who had purchased a bagful of vegetables, said that during the farmers agitation there will be no supplies of veggies and fruits and we so do not want to leave anything to chance. Despite high prices, the woman bought as much veggies as possible for dry days ahead.

A concerned customer Manoj Singh said that vegetable prices have increased manifold, we have stocked vegetable for next three days. Since it is a perishable items so one cannot store it for long, besides their storage also becomes difficult as there is limited capacity in the freezer. So we can buy them in unlimited quantity even when we know that their supplies would be disrupted, he added.

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