Nashik: Onion trading stops, veggies rot

Nashik: Onion trading in Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Nashik has stopped due to the currency crunch. A meeting of APMC office bearers and traders will be held on Sunday to discuss the situation and to decide on reopening the markets, sources said on Friday.

A slight shortage of this important tuber vegetable is likely in Mumbai and other cities of India, sources said. After the demonetisation, the onion merchants association gave notice that they were suspending trading activity till Sunday and APMCs were closed down on Thursday.

Lasalgaon APMC Director Rajendra Dokhale said onion markets were closed on Thursday in the interest of farmers. “Traders don’t have cash to buy and farmers fear selling onion on credit. Earlier some traders have vanished after buying agriculture produce on credit.  We don’t want our farmers to meet the same fate and so the markets are closed,” he said.

Lasalgaon Kharadi Vikri Sangh Bazaar Samiti (LKVSBS) chairman Nanasaheb Patil said that, agriculture produce and markets are very sensitive. Any incident like excess rainfall or drought, boundary seal, even a riot and now the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes has affected the market.

“There is no cash. Even if traders wish buy through cheque payments, the farmers are reluctant to sell. Till date, trading of all agriculture produce is conducted in cash. Now the need of the hour is online payments. The trader buys the agriculture produce and makes online payment. The farmer immediately gets an SMS on their mobile and the deal goes through,” Patil said.

Meanwhile, the demonetisation of currency has greatly impacted the grocery markets in Mumbai city. The prices of vegetables have decreased in the last three days and the stocks are also feared to rot in the markets.

The APMC market in Vashi has been hit as vendors are unable to sell their goods. Vendors expressed grief over the sudden announcement of demonetizations. Sanjay Pansare, former director of APMC market and a fruit seller, said, “Some of the vendors were unable to sell a single vegetable on Wednesday since the buyers had no loose change.”

The prices of onions have fallen to Rs 8- Rs 13 per kilogram. Around 30-40 per cent of goods have rotted while prices have fallen down by 30-40 per cent.”

Inputs by Sagar Pillai

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