[lang_en]KUMARHATTI: The poor produce of local off-season vegetable cash crops thanks to the heavy rainfall has baldy hit the small-time vendors who every year set up their makeshift vends along the Kalka-Shimla national highway here. The low yield of tomato, capsicum, and cucumber has in fact severely hit the business of these vendors who mostly now consisted of Nepalese migrant labourers.
In the past quite time the couple of sites near this town have developed as roadside vegetable markets where local youths as well as Nepalese migrants could be seen selling local fresh vegetables to the crossing motorists. By this time there was usually a vegetable boom on highway but this year the things were quite different. Unlike the corresponding period of previous years, these markets now have worn deserted look with vendors presence reduced to almost half as against it used to be in the past .
Over the years these makeshift seasonal markets have developed as platform for motorists mostly tourists from adjacent plains to buy fresh pahari produce at cheaper price while returning back from hills to homes. Even states run buses stopped at these markets to enable the passengers to buy the fresh vegetables.
This time the losses were quite high, pointed out a Nepalese couple who took fields from local on contract basis. They further said that usually by this time the vegetables like tomato and capsicum were sold like hot cake. On an average the daily vegetable sale was used to be anything between 75-kg to 1-quintal, they informed. But low yield of produce and subsequent rise in prices have altogether hit the business adversely. Moreover the poor quality of vegetables especially of tomato have proved a double blow to the business, they rued.
The bulk of tomato crop has hit by the diseases this time, rued another vendor. The heavy downpour has brought certain diseases thus affecting the quality of crop adversely, he lamented. Due to the poor arrival of vegetables majority of vendors have packed their business much before the end of season.[/lang_en]