As Kashmir continues to remain under siege, the vegetable growers and vendors in the Valley have been working tirelessly to ensure the local demand is met locally and the prices remain under check.
Amid the ongoing unrest, while the growers have ensured abundant supply of locally cultivated vegetables, the vendors ensure the prices remain under check and vegetables reach every nook and corner of the Valley.
As per market observers, the prices of some vegetables have come down by over 50 percent during the ongoing unrest in the Valley. "Tomatoes were sold at Rs 50 a kg before July 9. Now they sell at Rs 20 a kg. Spinach which was priced at Rs 40 a kg earlier is sold at Rs 15-20 a kg now. Similarly prices of other vegetables have plummeted," the consumers said.
"We are having adequate supply of vegetables. In fact we are exporting vegetables at this time of the year," Chairman Parimpora Fruit Mandi Association, Bashir Ahmad Basheer said.
He said the decline in the supply of vegetables from other states around this time "is being met by locally."
"The supply of the vegetables and fruits to valley from outside states has declined by over fifty percent during the last three weeks of curfews and restrictions," he said, adding that currently they are receiving only 10 to 12 truckloads from outside.
"Except for onions and potatoes, all the leafy vegetables are locally grown and their price is also lesser as compared to those coming from outside," he said adding that they were working in difficult situations due to restrictions imposed by authorities.
"We are dispatching supplies in early morning as the restrictions have taken toll on our business," he said.
He praised the vendors and retailers who he said were playing main part in ensuring the supplies reach to the consumers. "Despite the restrictions/curfews, these vendors risk their life to sell vegetables across Valley," he said.
"I am selling vegetables in a load carrier which allows me reach out to consumers in different areas," said Bashir Ahmad, a wholesale vegetable dealer.
Meanwhile, the vegetable and fruit vendors decried that the forces were hampering their movement.
Pertinently, Kashmir is on boil for last 25 days after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani which led to death of more than 50 protestors in the Valley.