Time to break your FD’s (almost), to buy veggies and milk

Time to break your FD’s (almost), to buy veggies and milk

First the heavy rains, then the opening of dams, then the flood, the blocking of roads and finally the shortage of food. The prices of vegetables have suddenly shot up due to the decrease in supply. Goans are having a hard time. And this does not mean just the residents, but even vendors (who rely on the sales) and restaurants.

The need for fresh produce is Goa’s top priority right now considering the month of Shravan. “We definitely cannot eat non-veg due to our abstinence period, and with the rates of vegetables so high in the market, we might end up spending our month’s savings on food itself. It’s okay for the elite group they can afford the high prices, but it’s unfair for the middle class. We cannot blame anyone for this problem as it’s because of a natural cause, the rains,” says Sumitra Naik, resident of Sanquelim.

Surprisingly, while vegetables are already expensive, the price of milk has also increased. Milk is supposed to be a daily commodity in any house; with that not arriving in the state in the past three to four days, Goans are upset and finding ways to adjust. The supply of various brands of milk such as Nandini, Arogya and Aditya has stopped due to floods in Kolhapur and Belgaum, where these brands are produced.

Many dairy farmers are currently suffering due to the Goa floods. Locals admit that the problem of inadequate vegetable supply is worse in city areas as compared to the villages as the latter have access to home-grown organic products.

“I think this isn’t a problem in the villages because there are dairy farms. Even for vegetables most of the people in villages grow their own. However, the Goa Dairy milk produce is not sufficient for the whole state. We were lucky to get the last packets the other day,” says Rupesh Nagvekar from Velguem. According to reports, Goa’s milk requirement is around 2.5 lakh litres per day. However, despite heavy demand, Goa Dairy is currently producing only 50,000 litres of milk per day. Its production is down by 20,000 litres from 70,000 litres per day.

“Milk wasn’t available these days. Yet I feel that we can adjust with milk because of options like milk powder and black tea. My main concern is vegetables. We had to survive on eggs, and packaged food. No meat, no vegetables, I didn’t even know what to cook. Luckily, this morning we got milk in our shops,” shares Lourdes Fernandes, a homemaker from Old Goa.
Many vendors are having a loss of business. Veremito Dias, a resident of Caranzalem, who owns a snacks bar serving homely milkshakes, couldn’t manage to get milk due to low supply.

“It resulted in disappointed customers, as the place is famous for milkshakes. I lost a lot of customers in these four days. I made limited milkshakes, insufficient for all the people.”

Another concern that was brought to light was the travelling issues among daily commuters. It has become unsafe. Also, Locals wanting to travel for important meetings, funerals and weddings out of state have been held back either because of the cancelled flights or the blocked roads.

The floods in certain areas of Goa were mainly caused after the dams were opened. However, Goa’s Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had assured that within two days of time, normalcy would be restored in flooded areas. And, yes it has. Although the rains haven’t said their goodbyes, at least the flooding has been decreasing. Goans are finally relieved. [H]