Farmers protest against price crash

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Kolar, Karnataka, Jul 1: The farmers in this district, a major tomato producer, today poured several tones of tomato on NH 4 and resorted to road blockade to protest against the crash in prices of the vegetable since the last three days.

About 350 to 400 lorry loads of tomato arrive at the APMC yard here every day but now it had no takers as only 10 to 15 loads were being picked up by traders. This was despite the price falling below Rs one a kg due to the glut. But still there was no takes for the farmers' produce.

This led to more than 2000 farmers assemble in front of the yard and pour tomatoes on the road in protest. They demanded the state government to announce a support price of Rs five per kg.

The vehicular traffic on the busy Bangalore-Chennai highway was however diverted via Malur road. The situation was tense but under control, police said.

When the district in-charge minister Krishnaiah Shetty arrived on the spot, the farmers shouted slogans against the state government and lay a seige by not allowing his vehicle 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. The farmers however rejected this offer. The minister later called a meeting of the farmer leaders and the meeting was still in progress.

The long stretch of the highway in front of the APMC was painted in red with the farmers pouring on it several lorry loads of unsold tomato.

UNI

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