Strike continues at Gultekdi market, but prices stabilise

The standoff between commission agents and Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) administrators over the rate of commission continued as the Gultekdi Market remained closed on fourth consecutive day. However, the retail prices of fruits and vegetables saw a slight dip as the arrival in the market increased from 15 per cent on Monday to 47 per cent on Tuesday with the farmers selling their produce directly to vendors at the marketplace. The business is likely to remain shut till Thursday, the day APMC representatives will meet state agriculture market board chief.

Compared to Monday, retail prices of leafy vegetables and fruits saw a 12 to 15 per cent dip on Tuesday. Green chilli, which was being sold at Rs 70-80 a kg on Monday, climbed down to Rs 55 to 60 per kg. Price of lady finger also came down to Rs 45-50 per kg from Rs 50-55. Other vegetables such as cucumber, brinjal, bottle gourd, ginger, carrot and capsicum saw a dip of Rs 10 to 15 per kg at retail markets in Narayan Peth, Mahatma Phule mandai, Deccan Gymkhana and Model colony.

The strike has not affected the supply and prices at most of the retail outlets as a majority of the retail brands procure the produce directly from growers or vendors appointed by them to collect the produce from farmers and supply to the retail outlet. " The strike hasn't affected us as we are not dependent on APMC for supply. For Pune and Mumbai we have four collection centres spread across the city and neighbouring districts where produce is collected directly from farmers," said a Reliance Fresh staffer who did not wish to be named.

B J Deshmukh, managing director of Pune APMC, said, "Thanks to increased arrival of vegetables on Tuesday, the prices have lowered and stabilised as compared to Monday. Though the strike called by the commission agents has been 100 per cent successful, many farmers came with their produce and sold it personally."

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