In India, the fear of being infected by COVID-19 has kept vegetable dealers away from wholesale markets, leading to a drop in prices in the Belagavi Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard.
Around 4,500 tonnes of 60 vegetables are brought to the yard every morning. The tonnage increases two days a week when potatoes and brinjal are brought in. Supplies arrive from different villages in Belagavi and some surrounding districts of Maharashtra. Horticulture farmers in Belagavi district alone produce around 2,000 tonnes of vegetables per day on around 300,000 hectares of land.
Onion forms the largest lot of the vegetables received in the yard. Between 500 and 700 tonnes of onions are procured and sold by evening. Bidding starts early morning and ends by noon. However, in the last two days, there has been reduced buying from dealers. On an average day, dealers from Goa buy around 300 tonnes of vegetables from the Belagavi APMC yard. According to some traders, misinformation and State’s attempt to close markets have hit their businesses.
“Various vegetables have suffered a fall in prices between 30-50%,” said one trader. “Our daily transaction is around ₹ 300,000 lakh. But we have not been able to sell goods worth more than ₹60,000 per day in two days now.” He feels that misinformation about COVID-19 and the State government’s attempt to close markets and advisory against large gatherings have hit his trade.
[ ₹100 = €1.27 ]