Gandhinagar: With tension on Indo-Pak border escalating, vegetable traders from Gujarat have decided to stop supply of vegetables, especially tomato and chilli, to Pakistan. This may affect nearly Rs 3 crore business of Gujarat farmers and vegetable traders every day.
Ahmedabad General Commission Agent Association general secretary, Ahmed Patel said that daily Gujarat used to send 50 trucks having 10 tonnes of vegetables mainly tomatoes and chilli to Pakistan from Wagah border but stopped it for the past two days considering the tension between the two countries.
“Since 1997, this is for the first time that Gujarat traders have decided to stop supply of essential veggies to Pakistan. We will not supply the vegetables to Pakistan until the relations between the two countries get normalized,” Patel said.
The association plays the role of agent between farmers and dealers to fix the deal and to supply the vegetables to its destination point. Without the nod of the association, majority deals of sending vegetables like tomato, chilli, lemon and ivy gourd from North and Central Gujarat cannot be struck.
Patel added that the vegetable vendors have to bear a loss of Rs 3 crore every day, but the national interest is above the personal interest. “However, we will continue to send the vegetables to Bangladesh, Gulf countries, Canada and South Africa,” he said.
Many farmers of Kadi taluka in Mehsana district, which is considered as the hub of tomato production in Gujarat, have also individually decided not to send the vegetable to Pakistan.
Dashrath Patel, sarpanch of Yashvantpura village of Kadi taluka, said that many farmers of the village have opposed selling vegetables to traders exporting tomatoes to Pakistan in national interest. “Though the supply is not much at that time but farmers from our village will not sell vegetables to traders coming from Delhi and Punjab who export to Pakistan directly from Gujarat during the peak season which sets in from November,” Patel said.
Mansukh Patel, a tomato trader from Govindpara village of Kadi who had exported three tonnes tomatoes to Pakistan last year, said couple of farmers have decided not to send vegetables to Pakistan.
Vinod Patel, president of Kadi Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), said that farmers themselves have decided not to send essential vegetables to Pakistan after the tension started escalating between India and the neighbouring country.
Harjivan Patel, tomato trader of Khanderpura village, said that the farmers from his village will not send vegetable to Pakistan even if they do not get good prices, in national interest.