Farmers cheer up to get better prices, local buyers unhappy!- The wrangle that was on between the State Government and the whole-sellers in Pune ended on Wednesday, with the Government agreeing to delist wholesale of fruits and vegetables from the realm of Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC). A meeting was concluded between the State representatives and wholesalers’ association leaders, including those from Pune, in Mumbai to take the decision.
Meanwhile farmers have made the most of the strike as they were able to sell their fruits and vegetables at a price much higher than what they got at the APMC markets previously. Farmers who had to deal with the APMC markets were seen dealing with the customers directly.
Sellers are happy as their products are vended at higher price in the open market.
Balaji Shinde, a seller said, he is happy with the rate his musk melons demanded in the open market. “Normally, I would get anything between Rs 45 and Rs 55 per kg when sold to the wholesalers, but today I am selling them directly for Rs 65 a kg. I am very happy with the government’s decision to delist fruits and vegetables,” he said.
One of the farmers took both the sides of the decision. He said it’s good to get fair price for their goods but on the other side, we cannot leave the market until we have sold the entire truckload that has been brought for the day. This means compromising on time we would otherwise spend at the fields.
On the other hand, local buyers have to pay extra prices for the same good. Their worry prevails as to how to make money if the vegetables and fruits are sold at such high prices at the market.
“Today, we had to rush early morning to buy chilies. What usually cost Rs 50 per kg till last week is suddenly being sold at Rs 200 per kg. Onions too are costing Rs 20 per kg. Where is the price regulation?” said a sandwich stall owner at FC road.
Supplementary, Market experts said they were unsure if delisting of vegetables and fruits would benefit farmers and end-users. “How will farmers’ interest remain intact if there is no regulation over traders? In fact, the government needs to work on price control mechanism and ensure that a farmer gets a reasonable price to produce and traders do not intensify prices of farm produce,” an expert said.