Impact of Covid-19 on Vegetable Vendors

Chained to a pole, Shyam Sunder’s food cart has been parked outside his house in Sanjay Colony near Okhla Industrial Area for five days now. He has been forced to dip into his already meager savings to feed his family of 10.

The 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday to contain the spread of Covid-19 has him worried. “I don’t have enough savings to support my family for 21 days. I’ll either have to look for an alternative or borrow money from friends and family,” said Sunder, a street food vendor registered with the government.

The break-out of the CoronaVirus pandemic has led to discovering the real faces of helpers, doers, and heroes of our society. But do you know how they are suffering to deliver you what you demand? There are several stories coming through and arising from the midst of this pandemic of Covid-19, here’s one for you. Meet Raju, a regular shopkeeper of vegetables now becoming a vendor to feed his family. After the ground research of several media teams it came out that the vendors had to visit the market between 12 am-6 am at midnight to get the stock of vegetables to sell for the day. They walk through your colonies and roadsides, but ever you wonder how they are coping up.

The vegetable vendoring became a choice of several to feed their families. The rickshaw drivers, the shopkeepers, the hotel’s small staff, and many more pursuing their jobs chose to become vegetable vendors in this pandemic, and with an increase in this ratio, the vendors who were already facing problems in daily-wage were now facing a new crowd in this. The markets were deeply affected, there was stock getting wasted in the godowns, shopkeepers of markets investing thousands of savings which were brought to bottom zero in 5 days of lockdown. The big impact of Covid-19 on markets has resulted in tons of vegetables and fruits getting rotten, and shopkeepers facing losses.

A farmer harvests wheat during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in Near Raispur village in Ghaziabad. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

A farmer harvests wheat during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, in Near Raispur village in Ghaziabad. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

The impact of COVID-19 on the economy is no doubt devastating. No sector has escaped its impact. Its impact on agriculture is complex and varied across diverse segments that form the agricultural value chain. Even among the different segments, its impact varies widely among different regions and among producers and agricultural wage laborers. If we go there can be a list of problems that our farmers are facing and also will be facing even after the lockdown. How the government is promoting the use of country products

Possible shortages ahead: An immediate consequence of this should make the government wary and alert to a possible sharp spike in the price of vegetables and other commercial crops due to large scale changes in cropping patterns. Large buffer stocks in paddy and wheat mean that food grains shortage due to poor harvest is unlikely, at least this year. The case of commercial crops and vegetables is more complex. The decision to plant these is largely dependent on the realization price in the preceding season. A collapse in returns means that farmers are likely to shift to another crop thereby substantially altering supply dynamics and with its prices. This, in turn, may have a bearing on food inflation.

Direct delivery to consumers, sun drying, and processing unsold fruits and vegetables are some of the measures, which horticulture companies and farmer producers organization from De Haat, Ninjacart, INI Farms, and Sahyadri farmers producers organization have taken. The end of the lockdown will not end the problems. On the contrary, they are likely to be compounded at the onset of the new agricultural sowing season. The most important issue that farmers have to surmount is the problem of repaying their crop loans and gold loans at least for those who have borrowed from the formal banking sector. Crop loans are repaid between April and May and a fresh loan is granted at the onset of a new season. Recent price collapse means that farmers are staring at huge losses and most of them are already highly indebted and hence unlikely to have the means to repay their loans. So the government Realising the needs and problems of these citizens of our country, grant them the necessary essentials permission as passed helping guidelines as well as schemes for the daily wage earner. So, my readers, I request you to come forward and help this country and its unsung heroes. #KnowYourHeroes

Contributed By- Archit Jain, Content Writer @ Mitti Ke Rang

At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.

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A social venture dedicated to empowering widows and single women to overcome poverty and dependency.