Downtown

All roads lead to Villivakkam

Farmers come and sell fresh vegetables at Villivakkam Market . Photo : K. Pichumani   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Villivakkam is second home to K. Ellumalai, a marginal farmer.

He lives in Tirutani. He however earns his livelihood in Villivakkam. He has been selling his produce at the vegetable market in the neighbourhood since the late 1980s.

Of the 80 traders who conduct business at the market, over 50 are farmers. Many of them come from faraway places like Arakkonam, Tirutani, Jolarpet and Tiruvallur.

“Areas along the railway route, including Villivakkam and Avadi, are major centres for such big markets and farmers sell their produce directly to the consumers. It is a tradition dating back to many years ago,” said Ellumalai, who owns around two acres of farmland.

Buyers from Kolathur, Ayanavaram, ICF, Perambur loco works, Korattur, Anna Nagar, Padi and Tirumangalam throng the market, especially during weekends. The price difference between Koyembedu wholesale market and the one at Villivakkam is around two rupees per kilogram. Consumers get fresh vegetables at Villivakkam. At Koyembedu, the stock reportedly arrives from places such as Vellore, Thiruvannamalai and Andhra Pradesh. Further, as the market is located near the railway station at Rajaji Nagar, commuters find it convenient to buy vegetables from there.

“Regular buyers will never miss visiting the market, especially during the weekends. All vegetables are fresh and cheap at the market,” said V. Sekar, a resident of Anna Nagar.

Every day, on an average, around five tons of vegetables, including tomatoes, ladies finger, bitter gourd, capsicum and greens are sold. All vegetables at the market are directly brought from the farm land by the farmers themselves. Around three tons of fruits are sold at the market by six traders. “The market is functioning for over three decades, catering to local needs. The entire stock brought to the market is sold at the end of the day. There is no wastage and the stocks are re-sold at Koyembedu wholesale market,” said S. Krishnan, in-charge of the market.

However, the 12,000 sq ft market lacks well-maintained toilets and water taps. The approach road to the market is in a bad condition. “Steps would be taken to re-lay the stretch after sufficient funds are allotted for the work,” said a Corporation official.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:37:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/villivakkam-is-second-home-to-k-ellumalai-a-marginal-farmer/article6386376.ece

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