Despite the state government having excluded fruits and vegetables from the coronavirus induced lock-down in the state, the supply of essential commodities will be affected in the next two weeks.
The administration of the wholesale market in Vashi, APMC, has decided to close the market till March 31. The decision was taken on Monday after reviewing the current scenario following the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The fruit and vegetable market will be closed from March 25 while remaining markets namely grain, spices, and onion-potato market have been closed from Monday.
Sanjay Pansare, director of the fruit market in Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) said that since fruits and vegetables are perishable commodities and it cannot be stored. “The turn up of retailers at the market is very low in the last four days and vegetables arrived on Friday and Saturday are still lying. The remaining vegetables and fruits will be sold out today and tomorrow as it cannot be stored for a long time,” said Pansare. He added that prices of vegetables had dropped sharply and even traders had losses.
The Mumbai APMC situated in Vashi supplies vegetables, fruits and other commodities to Navi Mumbai, Thane, Mumbai, Palghar and up to Vasai Virar. As the major supply of vegetables will be stopped, people have to rely on local supply. “The local production withing the periphery of Mumbai is very less and people will have a tough time,” said a trader from the Vegetable market.
“After street vendors were stopped, vegetables and fruits piled in the market,” said Shankar Pingle, director, the Vegetable market at APMC. Street vendors, mostly from Northern and Eastern parts of the country left the city following the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Pansare said that farmers have been informed that they do not send fruits and vegetables until further notice. More than 5000 traders, 30,000 mathadi workers (head loaders) and other stakeholders are attached to APMC.