Coronavirus: Labourers' exodus throws supply chain, production out of gear

As grocery stores across the country struggle with panic purchases and dwindling fresh inventory, worker exodus has added more fuel to the fire, affecting the entire supply chain essential products, ranging from wheat flour to legumes and cookies. edible oils.

The majority of grain markets are closed, oil mills and rice mills operate with minimal labor, and truck operators find it difficult to get high speed consumer goods (FMCG) through cities, towns and cities. most closed during the 21-day national closure. If the situation worsens, the country could witness the hoarding of goods and the rise in prices of several items.

Despite the efforts of central and state governments to ensure an adequate supply of consumer goods and other essentials, fear of the COVID-19 pandemic prevents workers and workers from working in factories and factories.

“Fear of coronaviruses has affected production. Nearly 80% of dal factories are inoperative due to the unavailability of labor and the supply of raw materials. Although the government has now authorized the truck transportation, transportation issues remain, “says Suresh Agarwal, of All India Dal Mills Association, adding that” even though authorities have authorized truckers to operate, police from different states, particularly at borders, are hampering transportation goods”.

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Obviously, in the coming weeks, the supply of different varieties of legumes, an essential part of the diet, could be paralyzed. “But if the workforce goes back to work and transportation problems are quickly resolved, supply could be smoothed, thereby maintaining a balance between supply and demand,” said Suresh Agarwal. Some varieties of Arhar quickly disappeared from the shelves of local grocery stores in Delhi.

“There was a panic on the eve of the March 25 closing. I somehow managed to get stock of Arhar and atta (flour) from a local merchant. But things are getting difficult now, “said the owner of the Sanjay stores in Vasant. Kunj, a large residential area near Delhi Airport.

Indian cuisines, especially in the country’s cow belt, cannot be managed without the attack (wheat flour) needed to make roast (bread). Atta passes through hundreds of flour mills located in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi and its neighboring states, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

“My flour mill is open. I also managed a few workers. But the problem is that I am unable to get wheat because the nearby grain markets are closed,” Rajat Gupta told IANS owner of a flour mill.

According to him, once the flour mills begin to obtain an adequate supply of wheat from traders, the mills will operate at their optimum capacity. Subsequently due to a lack of supply, Atta prices increased. Bhanu, owner of a Grand Noida grocery store, said he sold a 5 kg package of Ashirwad Atta at Rs 180, but is now available at Rs 220.

In fact, the whole functioning of the cereal markets, flour mills, rice mills, including the production and supply of consumer goods, remained affected due to transport and labor problems, declared millers, distributors and industrial organizations.

Om Prakash Garg, a major FMCG distributor in Delhi, said that since last week, it has had problems transporting goods to wholesalers and retailers.

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“Stocks of cookies, chocolates, milk powder and other items are available in the depots, but due to transport disruptions, the supply of these food products and dried fruits has been affected,” said Garg.

Another distributor, Rajesh Gupta, who sells spices in dried fruit, was of the opinion that the stock of fresh spices does not reach him from the production units. According to him, a famous brand of cookies, made in Delhi by a prestigious company, would run its factory at half power, thus creating a shortage of cookies and rusks.

However, industry organizations anticipate that after the Centre’s intervention, the restoration of the supply chain of essential products would result in the delivery of consumer goods and other essential items to retailers.

Atul Chaturvedi, president of the Solvent Extractors Association of India, said restoration of the supply chain for edible oil, sugar and other food products has started. According to him, approximately 40 to 50% of the supply chain of edible oil, sugar and other food products have been restored.

Laxmichand Agarwal, president of the Central Organization for the Petroleum Industry Trade (COOIT) said that the expellers producing mustard oil are in operation and that its supply will be uninterrupted.

However, he admitted that prices for mustard oil had increased slightly due to the disruption of the food supply, but ruled out any further increases in mustard oil as the growing season progressed. arrival of new crops continues and farmers sell their crops directly to the expeller,

Likewise, Jitu Bheda, president of the India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), is also planning an upcoming restoration of the food supply chain. He said: “In fact, the workers are back home, which is a major obstacle to restoring supplies and things will improve in the next 5-6 days.”

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