Supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and food grains is likely to be affected during the 10-day lockdown scheduled from July 14 as Pune’s wholesale market will remain closed. The onus might once again fall on Farmers Producers Companies (FPCs), which had kept the supplies running during the first few phases of the lockdown.
On Friday evening, the Pune administration announced a 10-day lockdown starting from the midnight of July 13 to control the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioners have clarified that the first five days will see only shops selling milk and medicines operational, post which essential services shops will be allowed on a limited basis.
Unlike the previous nationwide lockdown, this time the wholesale market of Pune will remain shut. Both Popatlal Ostwal, president of Pune Merchants Chambers, and Rohan Ursal, secretary of Traders and Commission Agents Association of the fruits and vegetables wings of the market, confirmed that the markets will remain closed. B J Deshmukh, administrator of the market, has sent out a video message urging farmers, traders and commission agents not to come to the market for the duration of the upcoming lockdown.
Other than the main yard at Gultekdi, Pune’s wholesale market has subyards around the city. These subyards and the main market look after the supply of both food grains and fruits and vegetables in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. With these yards going to be shut, the supply will be hit, which might see prices rising in the retail markets.
During the previous lockdowns, the FPCs had ensured supplies were kept intact. It is expected that this time around, they will be roped in for the same. Satish Soni, director, marketing, said they are waiting for the orders to set the chain in motion. Narendra Pawar of Swami Samarth FPC said they are waiting for orders to make preparations for supplies.
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