1. Agriculture World

Tomato Prices: Farmer in Despair as Rates Fall to Rs.1/ Kg

The sudden slump in the price of tomatoes in Anantapur wholesale markets has come as a shocker to farmers. Some farmers left tomatoes in the fields without harvesting them as the price is very low.

Ayushi Raina
Since the price of tomatoes is so cheap, some farmers have left them in the fields without harvesting them.
Since the price of tomatoes is so cheap, some farmers have left them in the fields without harvesting them.

Farmers have been taken aback by the sudden fall in tomato prices in Anantapur wholesale markets. Since the price of tomatoes is so cheap, some farmers have left them in the fields without harvesting them. A kilo of tomato now costs between Rs.1 and Rs.2.50.

Several farmers in the district began tomato cultivation, buoyed by good rainfall in November and anticipating significant returns. The vegetable was cultivated on 30,000 acres throughout the district. Tomato arrivals surged in the second week of February, owing to the harvesting season and a yield of 22 to 25 tonnes per acre.

Prices fell as a result of increased arrivals from all places and traditional sources of tomatoes to Anantapur. It was a simple economic principle: when there is a high supply and low demand, there would be losses. Most significantly, with an increase in tomato cultivation everywhere, exports of tomatoes from Anantapur hit. 

Anantapur tomatoes are often exported to West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana. They are also delivered to the marketplaces of Madanapalle, Kollar, Vaddepalli, Vizianagaram, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Bellary.

Earlier, tomato was a low-investment crop, but it has recently become a high-investment crop. Now, the investment is anywhere between Rs.30000 and Rs.1 lakh for one acre.

“I spent Rs.5 lakh to cultivate tomatoes in eight acres. I expected good returns, but by the time I took my harvest to market, I suffered losses. I earned just Rs.50000 till now. There are another 1,000 boxes in the fields.

Initially, the deal was Rs.60 per box of 30 kg, but it was dropped to Rs.50 the next day, it was further reduced to Rs.30.  The trader, however, did not turn up to lift the vegetable boxes," said Krishna Reddy of Dasampalle in Kalyandurg mandal.

Begala Chinna Raju of Peruru in Ramagiri mandal said he and his brother cultivated tomatoes on eight acres and were expecting good returns. They paid Rs.30000 per acre. “Now, I am not sure if I can recover my investment,” the dejected farmer said.

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