Unstable prices of tomatoes and the lack of processing units and cold storage facilities have become a challenge for tomato growers, who adopted crop diversification by switching to vegetable cultivation. Besides, due to the poor market system, farmers are left at the mercy of private players, who buy their produce at their own prices that are fixed on a daily basis, the farmers claim.
“[The] tomato is a perishable crop and we cannot hold it for more than two to three days in the open. Its prices are also not stable. If we have a cold chain, we can stock it for up to 10 days and can sell it when we get good prices. Private players are taking advantage of this situation, forcing us to sell the produce at throwaway prices,” said a tomato grower of Ganger village.
At present, a crate containing 25 kg tomato is being sold between Rs 100 and Rs 150, while earlier, it was sold at Rs 300-325 per crate, he adds.
[ Rs 100 = €1.10 ]