Vegetables wilt as heat, rain plays spoilsport; price on the rise

The decade-old facility in Mattuthavani lacks basic amenities, and also storage facilities to solve these issues.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.File Photo | EPS

MADURAI : Rising temperatures and unseasonal rain have greatly affected the arrival of vegetables at the Madurai central market, and the prices of vegetables have slightly increased. Meanwhile, traders have faulted the lack of facilities at the market, which has led to many traders refraining from purchasing vegetables for sale.

The Mattuthavani Central Vegetable Market is a major market catering to the needs of nearly all areas in Madurai. Apart from local cultivators, who supply nearly 30 - 35 % of the produce, produce is also sourced from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka markets.

As of Tuesday, 15-kilo tomato crates were being sold at Rs 230 - 320 (Rs 15 per kilo), while tomato prices were well below Rs 200 rupees per crate.
 Similarly, other vegetables such as brinjal (Rs 30 – 40), ladies' finger (Rs 40 – 60), broad beans (Rs 200), beans Rs 180), potato (Rs 40 – 60) and green peas (Rs 200) have also seen a price increase when compared to the previous weeks.
N Chinnamayan, president of the Central Market All Traders Federation in Madurai said, "The intense heat in April and the sporadic rains now have affected local cultivation as well as the cultivation in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This has disrupted the supply chain. Apart from this, humid weather and rain have led to an increase in the price as vegetables are spoiling quickly. On average, about 5 tonnes of vegetables go to waste as it rots during transportation."

The decade-old facility in Mattuthavani lacks basic amenities, and also storage facilities to solve these issues. From poor roads, and lack of adequate washrooms and lights, to immense stray cattle menace, the market and its traders are facing immense hardships. Despite submitting petitions to the officials to construct a cold storage facility in the market premises, no action has been taken. The current cold storage facility is located nearly a kilometre away from the market. Before the produce is brought to the market for sale, they are soaked in the rain or wilt due to the heat,” Chinnamayan said and demanded the authorities take steps to address these issues.

A corporation official said that issues such as waterlogging and bad roads near the market have been addressed by the corporation, and action is being taken to address other issues. 

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