Saturday 20 Jul 2024

Locals see red over tambdi bhaji from Karnataka



Goan vegetable growers see red as tambdi bhaji from Ghattaprabha and others areas in neighbouring Karnataka has started flooding the local market, including the vegetable market at the bustling Margao Municipality-owned Gandhi market.

After marigold flowers that flooded the Goan market on the eve of Dussehra festivities, leaving local marigold farmers high and dry, tambdi bhaji from across the borders have started giving sleepless nights to Goan vegetable growers.

Tambdi bhaji, a typical Goan leafy vegetable, is produced by the local farmers in a big way across the State and the produce brought in the local markets for sale in bunches.

As tambdi bhaji from outside the State has made is presence felt in the Gandhi market and other markets, vendors are perturbed over the unfolding development. As voices of dissent over the sale of this bhaji around the Gandhi market grows louder by the day, leader of the Gandhi Market Vendors Association, ex-Dy Chief Minister Manohar Babu Ajgaonkar has taken up cudgels for the ST vendors operating from the market.

Ajgaonkar made it clear to the vegetable vendors, who are part of the market Association, that only tambdi bhaji grown by locals will be allowed for sale in the market. “How would the local farmers survive if tambdi bhaji from Ghattaprabha and other areas finds its way in the Gandhi market”, Ajgaonkar wondered.

He added: “We never had an issue over sale of outside vegetables in the market. Our objection is for the tambdi bhaji coming from outside the State. For, our ST brethren produces the vegetable in the fields and bring it for sale”.

Issuing a warning, Ajgaonkar said vendors selling tambdi bhaji from outside the State will be removed from the market.

When The Goan visited the Gandhi market later in the evening, a couple of vendors were seen selling tambdi bhajji from neighbouring Karnataka with three bunches of tambdi bhaji being sold at a price of Rs 20.

Director of Agriculture Neville Alphonso conceded that the entry of tambdi bhaji in a big way is indeed a matter for concern. He made a fervent plea to the consumers to patronise locally grown tambdi bhaji saying tambdi bhaji produced by locals is free from pesticides and almost organic. 

“After the marigold flowers, entry of tambdi bhaji from across the borders is a matter for concern”, he said.

Admitting that there cannot be an official ban on the entry of outside vegetable into the State, the Agriculture Director said support from the Goan customers can help the local farmers in a big way.

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