Tomato Farmers in Tears as Prices Plunge to Rs 2/kg After Pakistan Import Ban
A vendor loads tomatoes in a bag for a customer at a wholesale vegetable market. (File photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: A steep fall in prices of tomatoes has led to an unprecedented crisis for farmers in Maharashtra. Nearly five lakh farmers in the state are affected as wholesale price has come down to just Rs 2 per kg.
Farmers said that till a week ago, tomatoes were being sold at Rs 10-12 per kg to traders and around Rs 40 per kg in retail markets. While their share has come down to just Rs 2, it is still being sold for Rs 20 by retailers, they said.
The sudden price drop has two main reasons - bumper crop this year and an import ban by Pakistan.
Every year, nearly 30-40 per cent of the total cultivation of the crop is exported to Pakistan via Srinagar, Wagah and Attari. This season, Pakistan has stopped import due to political reasons.
With the entire crop of tomatoes arriving in the local market, the prices are declining.
As the issue is directly related to the farmers of Maharashtra, it is a cause of concern for BJP government. BJP legislator from Dhule, Subhash Bhamre, has discussed the issue with union ministers Nirmala Sitharaman and Suresh Prabhu.