Anantapur: Farmers dump tomatoes on road after prices crash
Farmers in combined Anantapur district dumped tomatoes on the road after prices crashed to Rs 2 a kg in the wholesale market.
Anantapur-Sri Sathya Sai districts: armers in combined Anantapur district dumped tomatoes on the road after prices crashed to Rs 2 a kg in the wholesale market. Farmers from Rapthadu, Kalyandrugam, Kambaduru, Peruru and Kanaganapalli mandals of Anantapur district arrived at tomato market in the morning with Boleros, pickup vehicles and auto trolleys laden with tomatoes and dumped the produce on the side of highway and demanded better procurement rates from wholesalers.
"Tomatoes are being brought by wholesalers for Rs 80 per crate, which is nearly 35 kg. This is a huge loss. If the rate is close to Rs 300 per crate, then it is a no-profit and no loss matter for us," Bayieni Prasad, a farmer from Yellutla village of Putluru mandal said. The state government should look into the matter and if the rates come down further, the government should compensate to make up for losses, he added. Farmers, who dumped tomatoes on the roads on the week-ends, showed their frustration on Sunday also by throwing away the crop.
"What are we to do now? The government should come to our rescue and help us get the remunerative price," a farmer said even as he flung a basket on the road throwing the tomatoes. Some of the growers are allowing cattle to feed on the tomatoes in their farm fields. Since the price would not even meet their cost of transportation, farmers have resorted to dumping the crop on the road to highlight their woes. Just three months ago, the price of tomatoes was Rs 50 a kg as sold by the farmers.
Agriculture officers do not know the crop yield and statistics regarding crops. Agriculture extension officers should alert about the demand and supply. Poor farmers have cultivated vegetables but now the crop is not even getting their investment back. Tomato cultivation is mainly done in Rapthadu, Singanamala and Kalyandurg constituencies.
A farmer threw open access to his two-acre agriculture land to allow cattle to feed on the tomatoes.
Last month, a quintal of tomatoes was sold for Rs 1,000 but now the farmers are being offered only Rs 300. Some farmers have stopped harvesting the tomato crop as it would mean engaging labour would be additional burden for them. Experts said huge quantities of tomato available in the markets have brought down the price.
Government should start a food processing unit as promised. Tomato ketchup, sauces, chips, juices and pulp can be preserved and used for future purpose. Government should sanction at least 4 cold storage units and 10 food processing units under Azadi Ki Amrit Mahotsav as promised, farmers demanded.