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A Day of Learning at the Koyambedu Vegetable Market

A mini world of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and fresh flowers – that was what I felt when I entered the Koyambedu Vegetable market, Chennai. Fruits and vegetables are already kept in heaps and still keep coming in truck loads. Some trucks are coming with fruits and vegetables and some trucks and tempos are taking them out. Loading and unloading of trucks are in full swing and the laborers very busy. This is a place where one can see varieties of agricultural produce in one place. I really felt proud of our country’s agriculture. Against all odds the farmers carry out the farming efficiently and getting amazing crops. The large scale producers of farm products from nearby as well as faraway places bring their farm produce here and sell them to wholesalers who in turn sell them to shops and smaller vegetable markets all over the city. I really felt that I am standing in a typical vegetable market in India which in so many aspects differ from the modern super markets and malls.

Koyambedu Market

I came to know that the Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex has an area of 295 acres. I went around the two blocks for vegetables, the block for fruits and the block for flowers several times. I arrived here at 5 o’ clock early morning and brisk activities were already taking place. Thousands of retailers reach this place by 4 o’ clock for bulk procurement. I found thousands of vendors doing business inside the complex. I can say that not less than 100000 people visited the complex on that normal day to purchase stuff. Outside and inside the complex there are rows of shops.

Searching for the shops and buying the vegetables is really an interesting task here. I learnt that when one is in a market of this size, he should not buy anything in haste. There are specialized shops that are exclusively for selected items. If we buy from them we can get those items of better quality and lesser price.

Vegetable Block in Koyambedu

The fruit market is quite amazing. Varieties of fresh fruits are kept in small heaps and the bargaining is quite interesting. Every one bargains at these shops irrespective of the quantity they buy.  Here, for the buyer as well as the seller bargaining is a part of the game. The crowd that I saw early in the morning was gradually reducing towards noon and from 3 o’ clock in the afternoon the crowd again started picking up. By 7 o’ clock in the evening the business was at its peak. I could see the stocks depleting faster. The more price conscious people come after 8 pm so that they can get the stuff for cheaper prices.

Workers at Koyambedu

The Koyambedu Vegetable Market has an awesome method for waste disposal. I found the method technologically well advanced. The accumulated waste is taken out in a collection van thereby cleaning the entire area. A bio-methanation plant is installed at the market complex. From the vegetable and fruit waste, this plant generates power. The capacity of this plant is to convert 30 tons of vegetable waste per day into 2500 units of power. The excess waste that is not used for power generation is converted into manure. 1.75 acres of land is provided for the conversion of the vegetable waste into manure.

Also Read: Markets in Chennai

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