Farmers bear brunt as heavy rain damages tomato crop in Kolar

The cost of tomatoes in Bengaluru rose from Rs 15 per kg in September to Rs 65 to Rs 70 a kg in October | express

Published: 10th October 2021 06:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 06:10 AM   |  A+A-

The cost of tomatoes in Bengaluru rose from Rs 15 per kg in September to Rs 65 to Rs 70 a kg in October | express

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bengaluru consumers are paying Rs 65 and more per kilogram for tomatoes, an essential kitchen ingredient. The steep cost is indicative of an acute shortage since harvest-ready crops have been damaged by rain. Around 65 km from the state capital, farmers at Kolar, one of the largest tomato supplying regions, are in dire stress due to torrential rain destroying their produce for the past 10 days.

The cost of tomatoes in Bengaluru rose from Rs 15 per kg in September to Rs 65 to Rs 70 a kg in October. Tomatoes on average are grown on about 10,000 acres in the district, mostly in Mulbagal and Srinivaspura taluks. Kolar’s market had an annual turnover of Rs 400 crore, and had 6000 quintals of produce each day. The market is now being supplemented with the same quantity, however from outside Kolar. Hiriyur, Challakere in Chitradurga, some parts of Tumakuru and Davanagere, as well as the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh is supplying tomatoes. 

K Rajesh, a farmer from Koragandanahalli of Kolar has three acres of land where he cultivates the crop, a process that takes a gruelling three months. Speaking to The New Indian Express, he said, “In July, we did the sowing and by this season, I was expecting 1,200 boxes of tomatoes, which is 15 kg crop per box. However, due to heavy rain in the last few days, the produce has been damaged.”

The entire village which cultivates 110 acres of tomatoes is facing the same fate as Rajesh. “Most of the tomatoes grown in Kolar region are not in good condition. Our tomatoes are uneven in size, it has become soft and rotten. We cannot transport it to other parts of the state or country. We have lost the market in our place against other growers who are from outside Kolar,’’ said Sreenivasa Reddy, another farmer.

According to sources from the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) market in Kolar, “Tomatoes from Chitradurga, Tumakuru, and Andhra Pradesh are even in size, texture, are hard and shining. Most of the crop from Kolar is damaged, and when taken to the market, is fetching Rs 300 for a 20kg box, versus tomatoes from outside that are fetching Rs 1,200 for a 20kg box, almost four times higher.” 


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