In a bid to combat the vegetable price hike and supply fresh produce at an affordable rate, the Triplicane Urban Cooperative Society (TUCS) has started sales at its supermarkets since Friday.
The spiralling cost of vegetables for the past few months has burnt a hole in consumers’ pockets. Fewer arrivals and less crop yield are cited to be the reasons for the price hike.
In a bid to provide quality vegetables at nominal cost, the TUCS has commenced the sale at its 10 outlets in Triplicane, Royapuram, R.A. Puram, Besant Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Kilpauk, Nungambakkam, Teynampet, Periyar Nagar and Shenoy Nagar.
Nearly 10-15 varieties of vegetables are being sold at a rate that is 40-50 per cent lower than retail market price. Some of the costly vegetables like carrots and beans, which are sold for Rs. 60 and Rs. 80 per kg respectively, are available at Rs. 30 per kg in TUCS outlets.
Similarly, brinjals, cabbage and ladies fingers are available at Rs. 20 a kg, which is the half the market rate. The outlets will sell vegetable between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
R. Nandhini, a resident of Triplicane, said, “I was glad to buy one kg of tomato for Rs.10. It has been several months since I purchased any vegetable below Rs. 25 a kg in retail stores. The government must ensure that fresh vegetables are available at nominal cost throughout the year.” Consumers said subsidy should be provided to co-operative societies to sustain the sales.
Officials of TUCS said that the initiative has earned a good response from consumers. “We have sold nearly 4,000 kg of vegetables worth Rs. 60,000 in a single day. Two years, we sold onions when there was a severe shortage. This time, vegetables are being sold at most TUCS outlets,” said an official.
Vegetables are being procured from three localities. Besides the Koyambedu wholesale market, produce is sourced from Oddanchatram market in Dindigul district. Some are directly procured from farmers at Berigai village in Krishnagiri district.
TUCS joint registrar/special officer, R.G. Sakthi Saravanan, said orders are placed on the previous day based on the requirement. “We expect this market intervention venture to bring down the cost of vegetables in the open market. We are able to provide vegetables at a cheap rate as there are no middlemen. We sell them almost on a no-profit basis,” he said.