Farmers pour tomatoes on NH 4 to protest price crash

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Kolar, Karnataka, Jul 1 (UNI) The farmers in this district, a major tomato producer, today poured several tonnes of tomatoes on National Highway 4 and resorted to road blockade to protest the crash in prices of the vegetable in the last three days.

About 350 to 400 lorry laden with tomatoes arrive at the APMC Yard here every day. But now it has no takers as only 10 to 15 loads were being picked up by traders.

This is despite the price falling below Rupee 1 a kg due to the glut. But still there are no takers for the farmers' produce.

This led to over 2,000 farmers assembling in front of the yard and pouring tomatoes on the road in protest.

They demanded the state government to announce a support price of Rs 5 per kg.

Vehicular traffic on the busy Bangalore-Chennai Highway was diverted via Malur Road. The situation was tense, but under control, police said.

When the District in-charge Minister Krishnaiah Shetty arrived at the spot, the farmers shouted slogans against the state government and laid a seige not allowing his vehicle to move out of the area.

The Minister tried to pacify the agitating farmers and assured them that the government would rise the MSP to Rs three from the present Rs 2.30 a kg.

The farmers, however, rejected this offer. The Minister later called a meeting of farmer leaders, which was still in progress.

UNI XR RS ATI KP1548

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