Rakshitha an engineer turned passionate journalist with an inclination for poetry, creative writing, movies, fiction, mountains and seclusion. Not a part of the social process but existential.
The plummeted prices of tomatoes in Tamil Nadu markets has prompted the farmers to dump nearly one tonne of them on the roadside here on Sunday.
They complained that they are getting only Rs 1 per kg of their products when the retail price stands at Rs 4 per kg, as reported by The New Indian Express.
The Palacode market is one of the key markets in the district where tomatoes are procured wholesale. The mood in the market turned bleak after selling price of a crate of tomatoes (25 kg) declined to Rs 25 where it was just Rs 1 for 1 kg of tomatoes. Frustrated by this, the farmers dumped the tomatoes on the roadside near the market for it fetched them no profits.
Kannan, a tomato cultivator in Panchapalli said that the retail price of 1 kg of tomato was between Rs 12 and Rs 16 while the wholesale price was between Rs 10 and Rs 12, last year. "Now the prices have dipped to such an extent that farmers cannot afford to pay the transportation charges. Many are just feeding the tomatoes to their cattle while others just dumping them on the roadsides," he said.
He also told that the farmers had to spend Rs 600 to Rs 1000 on transporting the produce which is high for a farmer if only Rs 25 is earned from selling 25 kg of tomatoes. "How can we employ labourers and pay for transportation? Even if we sell a dozen crates, we will not make any profit," he added.
Another farmer, K Govindhasamy said that most of the cultivators in the region are small scale farmers. Such prices would lead to a severe crisis as transportation alone costs a fortune, he said. In fact, some farmers have reportedly not even bothered to pluck the ripe tomatoes in the farms given the low prices.
The officials at the markets said that the low prices were the result of seasonal fluctuations, and it was common for prices to drop when there is a glut in supply. This year, the rains from the southwest have greatly aided farmers with a successful harvest and this is also a reason for the prices to drop.
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