Vegetable Prices In Mumbai To Rise As Traders Go On Indefinite Strike
Vegetable prices in Mumbai will very likely shoot up soon due to a planned strike by traders in Vashi, which will start today. The strike is due to the government’s decision to allow farmers and consumers to directly with each other, eliminating the middle man.
A few days ago, the Maharashtra government announced that it would be delisting fruits and vegetables from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee. This will allow farmers to sell their wares directly to retailers and even consumers.
Additionally, to allow them to directly reach consumers the government plans to set up various platforms including an app that will allow farmers to deliver directly to consumers’ hones.
Trouble From Middlemen
While this will naturally benefit farmers, traders – traditionally the middle-men who buy from the farmers and sell to the consumers – aren’t too happy about the development.
AS a result of the decision, traders from the Vashi wholesale market – who supply vegetables and fruits to the entire Mumbai area – have gone on strike. They are calling this strike a ‘collective holiday’.
One trader, Ashol Walunj, commented to the Hindustan Times: ““If the government wants to encourage free trade, it should be for all. Why are they forcing us to follow APMC rules whereas allowing others to trade directly without paying any cess. It should be a level-playing field for all.”
However, Shirish Deshpande, chairman of consumer forum Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) said, to HT “Traders and middlemen should go on permanent leave. Let the farmers come directly and market their produce in urban area. It is the responsibility and duty of the state to provide requisite facilities to the farmers.
Consumers hope that the farmers’ direct trade will be able to bridge the demand created by the traders’ strike.