Tomato farmers in both Kurnool and Nandyal districts (Andhra Pradesh) are planning to reduce the crop area and shift to other options due to a steady slew of huge losses. These districts produce approximately 350,000 tons of tomato a year, but the farmers say the government is not responding to requests for support with an offer of support/remunerative prices.
In the open market, 25kg of tomatoes are currently selling for Rs 70-80. Last year, farmers cultivated tomatoes on around 23,000 acres in the two districts. Normally, 8,000 acres are committed to tomato cultivation in the district. Last year, farmers cultivated tomatoes in around 23,000 acres of land in the combined Kurnool district, which also includes Nandyal, an official from the agriculture department estimated. This year, they are planning the cultivation of other vegetables.
Tomatoes grown in December last year and January this year did not receive a remunerative price. Farmers are planning to start cultivation again by May end, but the area under cultivation will decrease.