Koyambedu market sees low footfall, fewer inter-state trucks

Due to COVID-19 impact, the fruit market at Koyambedu wholesale market has stopped receiving fruits from other states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, and Gujarat. Adding to their woes there are no enough takers for the available fruits, resulting in the market registering a 40 per cent slump in sales.
Koyambedu market sees low footfall, fewer inter-state trucks
?Koyambedu market

Chennai

“The market gets its major supply of fruits from states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. But from last week we stopped receiving fruits from these states. We usually receive over 100 truckloads of fruits daily. But now, the number of truckloads has dwindled to around 30 to 40. But even that we have not been able to sell and hence we have asked for a supply only every alternate day,” said S Dhanasekar, secretary, Vegetable, Fruits, and Flower Merchants’ Association.

Vendors at the market said usually the retailers from the Kothavalchavadi market and flower bazaar in Broadway arrive to buy fruits. But now, even their numbers have fallen considerably. This is being attributed to the rumours that the fruits could be infected with COVID-19 virus.

“We are facing a loss for the last one week. Already the market is deserted without customers. If the situation continues for the next two or three days, we won’t be able to pay our shop rents. Many vendors in the market are dependent on daily wages and if the government asks us to close the market the situation will worsen and will be forced to borrow money for survival in the coming days,” said S Prabhu, a fruit vendor at Koyambedu wholesale market.

Even the farmers are facing loss for the last one week as the wholesalers and retailers were not ready to purchase fruits as there are no takers. “Till last month, we sold one tonne of watermelons for Rs 10,000. But after the fear of COVID-19 we are selling a tonne of watermelons for a mere Rs 3,000 to Rs 3,500,” said G Gunasekar, a farmer from Tindivanam.

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