Price rises amid veges lying-a-rotting

Pix by Kanchana Kumara Ariyadasa, and Shelton Hettiarachchi

An island-wide protest was launched by farmers criticizing Government’s ban on transporting vegetables in gunny bags. A Cabinet Sub Committee on the Cost of Living on Thursday recommended the use of plastic crates instead of gunny bags, as it was found 20% of vegetables were destroyed during transportation in gunny bags.

It was also decided to issue 20,000 plastic crates to be used by the farmers. However traders’ organisations say their daily need of crates will be around 150 000.

Farmers are angered at the decision saying it is impracticable, as there is only an extremely limited stock of crates and transportation of fresh stocks would be delayed pending the return of empty crates.

As protests continued piles upon piles of gunny loads of vegetables are seen lying around as it has become illegal to transport vegetables in them.

Farmers add that though the initiative is supposed to save 20% of vegetables lost due to damage while being transported in gunny bags they could not adjust to the requirement of the new law immediately.
There needs to be a transition period they said. “We cannot jump from one system to another more expensive system so quickly”. They added using gunny bags was a more environmentally friendly method of transport.

Inadequate nos. of plastic crates result in stocks of veges going to waste at wholesale centres.
A section of the farmers protesting new legislation banning the use of gunny bags to transport vegetables
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Price rises amid veges lying-a-rotting


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