On Tuesday (June 30) evening, the customers of Organic Shandy, an organic market at Luz Church Road, Mylapore received a whatsapp message from the owners which said that several orders could not be executed due to non-availability of produce. The disappointment of the owners was evident when they went on to mention that two of their vehicles carrying produce were sent back due to the district level lockdown. The little produce that they received came very late, said the message.
P. B. Murali, one of the founders of the store, says, “Tuesday was a really tough day for us. We received close to 170 orders but were able to fulfill only 100 of them. We expected about 4 tons of produce but got only one ton. The produce van from Kodaikanal was turned back. Two farmers in Hosur said they could not send the produce at all”.
Murali says that everytime a driver comes from Kodaikanal to Chennai to deliver produce, the minute he reaches Kodaikanal he is asked to go into a 15 day quarantine. This is clearly a big loss for him and so many drivers don’t want to take up this job. At other times, the farmers only receive e-passes for a week and they have to keep getting it renewed which take a lot of time.
He requests that the government allow perishables to move into and out of the district freely. “Farmers will really struggle to sell their produce if this continues. For example, an organic farmer who is growing carrots in Kodaikanal can sell them in Chennai for Rs. 60 per kilo only if he sends it out as soon as it is harvested. If there is a delay in transportation he will have to sell it locally and will get only Rs. 10 per kilo. We have to do something to protect the interests of these farmers”.
The store is located at 177, Luz Church Road, Luz (right next to M. Ct. M Schoo). For details call 7708612348, 8056012036.