No vegetable shortage in markets; local produce less available
Kochi: A huge decline will be seen in the availability of locally produced vegetables due to the flood havoc. However, there would be no dearth of vegetables during the Onam festival season as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have produced vegetables and banana on a large scale targeting the Onam market in Kerala. The products from these states have started arriving in Kerala.
Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) had conducted a market research as directed by the minister for agriculture V. S. Sunil Kumar. CEO of VFPCK Saji John informed that the study has found no shortage in the market.
Banana was cultivated in about 2500 hectares of land in Mettupalayam and Karamadai area. About 250 loads of banana per day will be brought to the markets in Kerala. In northern districts, the products are brought from Mysuru and Oddanchatram.
In the past, the farmers of other states used to apply lethal chemical pesticides on crops. But the checking by enforcement of agriculture department and food safety department have influenced the farmers. Saji John added that they will ensure the vegetables from other states are safe to be consumed.
The self-finance farmers’ groups under VFPCK are all set to work towards controlling the price hike. They have organised more than 150 stalls to sell vegetables for fair price. The move is to help the people who are already devastated by the flood. If the revenue authorities demand, vegetables will be supplied in the relief camps as well.
When the whole state is going through the flood tragedy, a few merchants intentionally create a price hike. The agriculture department is trying to stop this. Saji John also said that they buy the vegetables from farmers giving 10 percent extra price and supply it to people with 30 percent reduction in price.