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Farmers dump tomatoes as prices plunge

Farmers dump tomatoes as prices plunge
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In this background, the farmers are abandoning crop in their fields because they are unable to pay even labour charges. Each labourer picks seven boxes of tomato per day and they are paid nearly Rs 250, but farmers earn less than this amount. 

Nizamabad: Tomato farmers are abandoning the crop at fields due to sharp decrease in the prices of tomatoes. The result is attributed to the extensive cultivation and excessive yield. Farmers, on an average, have lost nearly Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per acre in Nizamabad district.

Tomato crop was cultivated in nearly 4,500 acres in Nizamabad district this year. Due to the drought conditions and depleting groundwater levels, farmer’s focused on cultivating dry crops like tomato and other crops in Armoor, Balkonda, Jakranpally, Vailpoor, Morthad, Dhrapally, Varni and Makloor mandals.

Businessmen purchased tomatoes at a rate of Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg from farmers who used to earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per acre, three months ago. These rates encouraged large number of farmer to cultivate tomato crop on a large scale.

Two months later businessmen imported tomato from Madanapally of Chitoor district and Maharashtra at the same time when tomato yield begins in the district, leading to a sharp decrease in the prices. However, the situation has changed now with businessmen paying just Rs 20 per kg. The farmers are facing tough time as they are getting just Rs 1 on every kg of tomato.

In this background, the farmers are abandoning crop in their fields because they are unable to pay even labour charges. Each labourer picks seven boxes of tomato per day and they are paid nearly Rs 250, but farmers earn less than this amount.

A tomato farmer from Jakranpally, Ganga Reddy, said that he cultivated tomato crop in four acres in the present season and invested nearly Rs 30,000 per acre. He said he lost nearly Rs 1.30 lakh due to decreasing prices and requested the government to give assistance to tomato farmers.

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