Excess tomato production leaves Tamil Nadu farmers disappointed

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Coimbatore, Feb 20 (ANI): A bumper harvest of tomatoes has not pleased farmers in Tamil Nadu as the excess production has caused a sharp drop in tomato prices.

Tomatoes, known as poor man's apple, are cultivated on 70,000 acres of land in the state with a average yield of 140,000 tons of tomatoes a day being produced.

A few months back, tomatoes were as expensive as apples, at 40 to 50 rupees per kilogram.

Farmers used to reap profit from their crop. But this time, the high yield of tomatoes has brought down the prices of crop to seven rupees per basket.armers are bitter over tomato prices heading southward and causing them heavy loses. They said that for cultivating tomatoes on one acre, a farmer has to spend 40,000 rupees and the prevailing prices even do not meet the cost of cultivation.

"The wholesale prices of tomatoes have fallen to such a extent that we are not getting the production cost from the crop. Now what do we do?" said Senthil, a farmer. he residents say that commission agents are insensitive to the farmers' plight and are keen on having their 'pound of flesh' while trading the farmers' produce.

"Tomato trade only benefits the commission agents. The middlemen who make profit even at the time of low prices prevailing when tomatoes are sold at merge sixty to seventy paise a basket," said Ganesan, a tomato buyer.

With the present fluctuation in price of tomatoes, the farmers had urged the government to fix a minimum support price for tomatoes and thus stabilize the prices and compensate the loss incurred so far. But their request has not been fulfilled so far. By Jehovah. G (ANI)

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