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After subabul, depressed tomato farmers demand MSP

After subabul, depressed tomato farmers demand MSP
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The steep fall in tomato prices is depressing the growers across the district. They are venting their frustration over not getting suitable price for...

Khammam: The steep fall in tomato prices is depressing the growers across the district. They are venting their frustration over not getting suitable price for the crop by throwing the produce on the roadside and distributing it freely to the public at many places in Khammam.

A few months ago, tomato was a pricey vegetable that had brought tears to buyers as a kilogram of it was priced from Rs 40 to Rs 50. Soon, hoping fortune, many farmers rook up cultivation of tomatoes.

Farmers M Naresh and R Srinu, residents of Bethalapadu village of Julurupadu mandal, expecting good returns cultivated tomato in 10 acres (five acres each) investing nearly Rs 10 lakh each.

But to their disappointment, the price of tomatoes in wholesale market drastically fell to Rs 2 a kg. Not knowing what to do with their produce, they had decided to distribute it to the people of nearby villages of Bethalapadu, Kommagudem, Sujathanagar and Kothagudem. After distribution, they discarded the remaining produce on the roadside.

Calling it a disturbing trend, L Srikanth, a Botany lecturer said government needs to address farmers issues. “Imagine selling produce at Rs 2 a kg after having spent so much of money on raising the crop would not only disappoint farmers, but also force them to quit agriculture.”

“Such scenes will become a routine affair if the government does not intervene and rescue aggrieved farmers. It is only from the last week of January that the price plummeted to Rs 10. And last week, it reached Rs 5 and further worse,” he added.

N Venkanna of Rythu Coolie Sangham said the price has fallen to as low as Rs 2 a kg in the wholesale market, forcing the farmers to discard the produce instead of selling it to traders. Same is happening with the subabul and eucalyptus farmers.

Since farmer never does audit he never knows his losses. A minimum support price should be announced for tomato and chillies along with subabul and eucalyptus, which should serve as a floor price for the markets, Venkanna demanded.

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