Nagpur: We need to eat vegetables everyday simply because one cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to our everyday human needs as vegetables! As Indians, we need vegetables (Sabji) with rotis. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, we all eat vegetables though cooked differently.
With the monsoon round the corner, everybody expects the prices of vegetables to be affordable.
However, contrary to the expectations, the prices of vegetables have shot up.
When asked one of the leading Vegetable Vendors in Fule Market / Cotton Market area Ramesh Nimgade said that the intense heat experienced this year has killed the crops and vegetables. The ones that have managed to live through the heat and have come to the market are being sold at an enhanced price. Only after a month of onset of monsoon will the prices of vegetables go down.
One look at the prices will surprise everyone.
As far as fruits are concerned, the fruit selling vendors are in a dilemma. Those who had invested in purchase of Water Melon, Musk Melon are no more getting customers. They have to sell at any rate the customer asks.
The vendors dealing with the “King of Fruits Mango” are doing good business. The raw mangoes (used for making pickles) range from Rs 40-60 (small size) and Rs 60-80 Big Size.
The costs of ripe ones are as follows:
While speaking about getting rid of the middlemen (Dalals) in this trade, some of the vegetable vendors said that the presence of Dalal is good both for the vegetable growing farmers as well as the vendors.
These Vegetable vendors said that often the vegetable growing farmers cheat in the market by placing the broken, spoilt or smaller sized vegetables in the lower portion of the truck and the big and good looking vegetables on the top. When the auction is on, one gets to see the vegetables on the top only. When the vegetables are unloaded, only then does the picture gets clear. However, by then the Vegetable growing farmer has already left. It is then that the vegetable vendors feel cheated and feel the pinch. The Middleman (Dalal) ensures that the farmer gets adequate rate for his produce and the vendor gets a decent stock at a rate which he can add some and earn a decent margin.
There are as many as 350 Dalals in Cotton Market or Fule Market. There are times when the vegetable vendors do not have cash to buy the vegetables. It is at this time that the Dalal allows the vendor to take the quantity of vegetables and gives him time to pay the money after sale of the vegetables (often the next day). The Dalal pays in cash to the farmer. This way the Dalal is practically investing cash in the vegetables which he will get only the next day or sometimes the next week or even next month. He gets a percentage of the net auctioned amount as commission.
When asked if the interest of the farmers is safeguarded, these vegetable vendors claimed that unless the yield is extremely large and the market gets flooded with a particular vegetable, the Dalal always prefers to safeguard the interest of the farmer and tries to get a good price for the produce thereby getting a decent earning for the farmer. This way he also ensures that the farmer comes to him only for auctioning of the vegetables (gaining trust and goodwill).
The scenario is the same even in Kalamna Market. However, since the market is big and one has to buy in larger quantities, the vegetable vendors still prefer Cotton Market instead of Kalamna Market to buy the vegetables from. This way they ensure that the quantity of vegetables brought are sold and no loss is borne by the vendors.
By Samuel Gunasekharan