TIRUPPUR: Several farmers crushed tomato plants using tractors as the price dropped to Rs 5 per kilogram. The retail price is Rs 10 per kilogram in Tiruppur district.
N Palanisamy, a farmer in Dharapuram, said 'Hundreds of farmers cultivate tomatoes here and sell it in Tiruppur and Dindigul. I cultivated tomatoes on one acre. The procurement price has dropped to almost Rs 5 per kilogram. The cost of one crate (14 kilograms) has dropped to around Rs 100. Last year, the price was Rs 900 and above. Since I have to spend Rs 350 per person a day to pluck tomatoes, I did not want to increase my financial burden, So I crushed the tomato plants. Not just me, two of my friends also crushed plants cultivated on over 2 acres."
O N Shibudeen, a vegetable agent from Tiruppur Thennampalayam Market, said, 'Usuallly we receive 4-5 tonnes of tomatoes a day. In the last few days, we have been receiveving over 10 tonnes (native variety) from Palladam, Udumalaipet, Avinashipalayam. So, we stopped buying from Krishnagiri, Mysore and other parts of Karnataka. We are unable sell at such low prices. So we have stopped selling for one or two kilogram, and selling 5 to 10 kilogram for Rs 50 or Rs 100'.
Speaking to TNIE, Tamil Nadu Farmers Association (Tiruppur) Vice president SR Madhusoodan told TNIE, 'There are more than 3000 farmers who have cultivated tomatoes in Udumalaipet this season. Since, the price has dropped to Rs 5 per kilogram, many have destroyed the crops.'
An official from Horticulture department said, 'Whenever there is good harvest, these things are bound to happen. Farmers need not worry. Within a few weeks, there will be less inflow and prices will stabilize.