When the sun goes down, it’s time to buy vegetables for your dinner, a popular strategy that will ensure you’ll have plenty for the week ahead.
“When the harvest is in full swing, vegetables are in demand.
The seasonal supply is very tight.
You need to plan ahead and buy vegetables before the harvest season starts,” said Rizwan Ali, director of the Indian Council for Agricultural Research.
But there’s a catch.
“There are two issues.
One is the shortage of land, which is very high in the country.
The other is the fact that the farmers are using less land, so they’re not producing as much,” he said.
In a recent study, a team of scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute of India (IASI) found that, in a four-year period, the country lost around 5,000 million hectares of land due to drought and land scarcity.
“The agricultural productivity is being affected by the lack of available land,” said Mihir Singh, research scientist at the IASI.
Farmers are also using fewer crops, reducing their yields and the overall quality of the soil.
While farmers in the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu can use less land to produce their produce, farmers in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand can use up to 10 times more land, Singh said.
So what can you do to make sure your family is able to buy more vegetables at a better price?
“First of all, be aware of your food security,” said Shanti Sharma, managing director of online marketplace ShopSavvy.
“You have to make a list of what you can afford to buy.
Also, make sure you buy fresh vegetables, which means they’re grown on the same land,” she said.
Buy local and save On top of buying local, you also need to be aware about where you can buy fresh produce.
“I think most Indian households don’t have a place to put fresh produce in their pantry.
You have to get your produce at a farmers market, where you are not limited to buying vegetables,” said B.R. Pandey, an associate professor at the University of Hyderabad.
“Then, you can purchase vegetables at your local farmer’s market,” he added.
A list of farmers’ markets in India can be found on the IANS website.
For more information, visit http://www.iasi.org.in/shopsavvy/index.php.
The government also has a list, and a guide, for farmers and the markets they patronize.
For instance, the Ministry of Rural Development’s website has a guide for those interested in buying produce at local farmers’ market.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should go to the market to buy it, as you may be asked to pay a small amount in cash.
“If you don’t want to pay money, you should just buy produce yourself,” said Sharma.
“A farmer will be very happy to sell you fresh produce,” said Ali.
But you don and will want to do so to ensure your family doesn’t end up with a bigger bill.
A cash-only approach To ensure you don,t end up on the cash-free list, it might be wise to get the produce at the farmers’ Market.
“It’s better to buy the produce yourself, because if you buy it at the market, you won’t be asked,” said Singh.
“However, if you don’ t have money, and you want to buy produce at your market, be ready to pay Rs.5,000 for the produce,” he advised.
That’s why the IISI has developed a cash-first system for buying produce in the market.
“We are looking into a cash only system for purchasing fresh produce and other produce at farmers’ Markets, where farmers will only be allowed to sell fresh produce for Rs. 5,200 per kg and produce at Rs. 10,000 per kg, while fresh produce at other markets will only cost Rs. 1,000,” said a spokesperson from the IAI.
For a cashless system, there’s no point in buying vegetables at the Farmers’ Market unless you are willing to pay the full amount in Rs. 50,000.
The price at the farmer’s Market depends on the size of the produce and the time of year.
For example, in the winter months, a farmer’s produce costs Rs. 7,500 per kg.
But if the produce is in demand during the summer months, it may be worth going for produce at lower prices.
“During summer months where the market is crowded, farmers will often buy produce from the market for less than Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000, which would be a good option for people who want to save money,” said Aligarh Singh, associate director of agriculture and sustainability, IAS.
“People who are looking to save on their food bills can also look for farmers’ prices