Exclusive: Kerala rains impact- Tonnes of vegetables stagnates in Coimbatore; farmers allege lack of cold storage units

By A.T. Jahar, SimpliCity, File Photo

Aug 10, 2018 05:37 PM

Coimbatore: Transport of vegetables from Coimbatore to various parts of Kerala is suspended, as torrential rains have disrupted the roads route leading to Kerala. 

Vegetable transport is predominantly carried to various parts of Kerala from MGR Market which is located opposite to the Coimbatore new bus stand. Around 112 wholesale shops function in the market, who transport tonnes of vegetables to Kerala and other states. 

Around, 250 lorries transport vegetables to Kerala and 50 lorries to other parts of Tamil Nadu from MGR market here on a daily basis. 

Meanwhile, the heavy rains have battered most of the entry points from Coimbatore to Kerala. Following which, tonnes of vegetables have stagnated in the market here and at present only 100 lorries ply from Coimbatore to Kerala. 

However, the harsh weather conditions which has led to stagnation of vegetables has turned lucky to the locals, as vendors are forced to sell vegetables at a very low price.

Briefing on this, Bashir, a whole sale trader from MGR Market said, "Farmers are left in deep grief due to stagnation of vegetables and decline in market price. Keeping in mind the upcoming festivities, like Onam and Bakrid that are widely celebrated in Kerala, farmers here had cultivated vegetables in large volumes."

"If the heavy rainfall doesn't subside in Kerala, our farmers will incur severe losses", he added.

Farmers in Kongu region usually cultivate vegetables in large numbers during the festival seasons at Kerala. If the rainfall continues to lash Kerala at same pace, Onam which falls on 27th of this month will not be celebrated the usual way. Hence, farmers fear if their cultivation will end up in vain. 

Commenting on the situation, Muththiah, a farmer from Sulur said, "I have cultivated beans, carrot, onion, beetroot in large number with regard to the upcoming Onam and other festivals in Kerala. If the rainfall continues in Kerala, vegetables will stagnate here and we will incur a huge loss." 

Another farmer has expressed his despair by stating that either we sell for pittance or leave the vegetables rotten. 

Speaking on this, NSP Vetri, Working President of Katchi Saarbatra Tamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said, ‘We are constantly requesting the government to install cold storage facility in every district. During such crisis situation, we could preserve vegetables in cold storages even up to 10 days. So, that perishing of vegetables and losses could be prevented."

"Yes, there are cold storage facilities in scattered areas but sadly, the poor maintainence of those units have made it non functional. Season after season, our plea to install cold storage facility in Coimbatore which is a prospering belt is never been accomplished", ’ he lamented.

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