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Rediff.com  » Business » Here's how to bring down the prices of fruits, veggies

Here's how to bring down the prices of fruits, veggies

July 20, 2016 12:02 IST

A fruit seller waits for customers at his stall at a wholesale market in Mumbai.

Experts said the government had decided to act tough on traders after the price of pulses hit Rs 200 a kg a few months ago.

Delisting of fruits and vegetables from mandis run by the APMC could lower the kitchen budget by 6%

Fruits and vegetables are likely to become cheaper in a few weeks.

Delisting of fruits and vegetables from mandis run by the Agricultural Produce Markets Committee could lower the kitchen budget by six per cent.

Vegetables and fruits have weights of 1.74 per cent and 2.11 per cent, respectively, in the wholesale price index.

“The amended APMC Act allows farmers to sell fruits and vegetables to buyers.

"Direct selling will eliminate middlemen and the cost will come down,” said Mahesh Pathak, principal secretary in the food and civil supplies department in Maharashtra.

Maharashtra over a week ago amended the APMC Act by ordinance to allow farmers to sell fruits and vegetables to bulk consumers.

Experts said the government had decided to act tough on traders after the price of pulses hit Rs 200 a kg a few months ago.

“Farmers incur five per cent cost on transportation, loading and unloading.

"In direct selling these expenses will be saved. Another 10 per cent will be saved on warehousing, weighing and transit losses,” said Shri Ram Gadhave, president of the Vegetables Growers’ Association of India.

“The overall cost to the farmer will drop on lower mandi charges and transportation costs. This will reflect in the prices of fruits and vegetables,” said Brajendra Singh, director of the National Horticulture Board.

A number of traders in Lasalgaon, Pimpalgaon and nearby mandis have surrendered their licences in protest against the government move.

“Once traders are eliminated from the system, who will take care of farmers’ needs?” asked Sanjay Sanap, an onion wholesaler in Lasalgaon.

“Fruits and vegetables will be cheaper, but farmers will be in dire straits once traders are removed,” warned Sanjay Bhujbal, a vegetable wholesaler in Vashi.

Gadhave said it would take at least a month for consumers to feel the effect of falling prices.

Image: A fruit seller waits for customers at his stall at a wholesale market in Mumbai. Photograph: Vivek Praksh/Reuters

Dilip Kumar Jha in Mumbai
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