Pakistani growers are staging protest demonstrations against the government’s decision to import tomatoes from neighbor Iran at a time when local crop is harvest-ready in Sindh province. There are fears there will be more losses from wave of extreme cold looming ahead.
Reports show tomato producers are taking a serious offense to the authorities’ inactivity as the latter were simply not paying any heed to their grievances, losses, and justified demands.
However, according to Haji Ikhtiar, a representative of fruit and vegetable merchants association and member Hyderabad Chamber of Commerce and Industries (HCCI), recent rains and flood had destroyed standing vegetables and crops, including tomato, which was re-cultivated two-month late.
Local tomato started coming to market from December 10, but supplies are not enough to meet the demand. That is why the government allowed traders to import Iranian tomato.
If local tomatoes were available in the market, people would not buy the imported ones as they lacked taste and freshness compared to the homegrown ones, a trader leader claimed. He also said that the new forecast for another weather phenomenon, a cold wave at the end of this month, might create problems for the vegetable growers.
Thenews.com.pk reports how protesting farmers are pleading they are being paid too little for tomatoes in the wholesale market.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com