ANANTAPUR: The fall in tomato prices, which some times touch even Rs 1 a kg, has once again started to worry the farmers. In Anantapur market, tomatoes are not fetching a price of even Rs 3 a kg, forcing the farmers to leave the produce in their fields to save the cost of hiring labour.
According to horticulture officials, half of the tomato produce is still in the fields and the yield will come to the market only if there is any rise in the prices in the coming days. As the tomato produce had started coming to the market at once in huge quantity, the prices crashed.
A 15 kg tomato box is being sold at Rs 40 to Rs 50 now. The farmers, who invested a huge amount of money to raise the tomato crop, are expressing concern at the falling prices.
The farmers said they do not get even transport charges if they sell the produce at Rs 50 a box. Speaking to TNIE, Sriram Gautham, a farmer of Nuthimadugu village in Kambadur Mandal, said he raised tomato crop by investing Rs 30,000 per acre. “The tomato prices are falling steeply. If the downward trend continues, the farmers cannot get even transport charges,” he lamented.
Every day a huge quantity of tomatoes is being brought to the market yards resulting in a slump in the prices.
The farmers borrowed huge money to raise the tomato crop, but falling prices have made them crestfallen, another ryot rued.
Anticipating a better price, some tomato farmers have started taking their produce to Madanapalle in neighbouring Chittoor and Kolar in Karnataka.
Assistant Director of Horticulture Chandrasekhar said, “There is no scope for a rise in tomato prices in the open market in the coming days. The downward trend will continue till this month end.”
Farmers cultivated tomato crop in a large extent in the district this season and the yield is also good. As the farmers are bringing a huge quantity of tomato produce to the market at once, the prices are on the decline, he added.