Swaran Singh, Secretary to the Co-operation, Food and Consumer Protection Department: The Amudham Departmental Store and TUCS chains have been selling vegetables since November. The rates in these outlets are significantly lower than popular retail chains. The difference ranges from Rs.10 to Rs.25 a kg. The quality of vegetables is also very good. We are in the process of adding another 100 vegetable sale counters across the city, through the TUCS network, where very good quality vegetables will be available at cheap rates.”

A. Lakshmikanthan, Farmer, Salamangalam village near Padappai: “I have been associated with the ‘Uzhavar Sandhai' at Pallavaram since it was started. I raise a crop of paddy once a year, but grow vegetables throughout the year. We grow ladies finger, brinjal, spinach and gourd varieties. Before coming to the ‘sandhai,' I used to set up shop on the road side. Such markets are a boon to small farmers like me. I cannot afford a shop on rent anywhere in Pallavaram. I manage to make Rs. 300 a day on an average and it is higher when we raise more crops. ”

Gowri B, resident of Porur: “The price rise is hurting us too much, especially in the last three months. We now make at least two visits to Koyambedu wholesale market a month to purchase vegetables. There is a better variety of vegetables and they are reasonably priced too. Shopping in my area would cost us double the price. Also, the stock bought in Koyambedu is enough to last two weeks.”

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