Vegetable traders try to shift to alternative locations

Vegetable traders at the wholesale and retail markets shifting shops to alternative locations in Coimbatore on Tuesday.

Vegetable traders at the wholesale and retail markets shifting shops to alternative locations in Coimbatore on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

Taking private godowns on rent, identifying farm lands, and occupying space in wedding halls are among the several efforts that some of the vegetable traders at the wholesale and retail markets here are taking to continue sale of vegetables as the MGR and Anna markets have been shut due to reports of COVID-19 positive cases.

Sources among the traders in these two markets said there were, however, challenges in shifting to a new location as the public in those localities were alerting the police. The public fear that wholesale vegetable shops in their area could lead to crowding and spread of the disease.

“Almost all the traders at Anna market sell to retailers. With the market and the temporary space provided to them closed, some are selling vegetables out of trucks. Some are taking on rent private space if the rents are affordable. Some are looking at agriculture lands near the city and trying to sell from there. These are all efforts to sell vegetables that we get from different areas,” said S. Suresh, secretary of the Anna market traders’ association. “A few traders feel that if they can just sell for two hours a day, they will be able to manage the regular supplies that they get. So they try to make alternative arrangements,” he said.

Some of the traders at MGR market said that though many of them were trying to see how they could continue vegetable supply to the city, they were used to doing business from a particular locality and there would be challenges when they shifted to alternative locations. Some wholesalers were just redirecting the vehicles to the buyers. Closing of the two markets could lead to rush at the Thyagi Kumaran Market and put at risk the traders and customers there too. Further, there could be hike in prices of some of the vegetables. “The government should look at providing 20 acre to 50 acre in the future to set up a proper wholesale vegetable market,” said one of them.

The wholesale vegetable prices in the district has remained almost the same. “Only the prices of tomatoes and brinjal were slightly up. Tomato prices were up because of rain. Brinjal was at ₹20 a kg which was higher than what it was last month. We do not expect prices to shoot up much,” said M. Rajendran, president of Thyagi Kumaran Market vegetable traders’ association.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 12:19:40 PM |

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