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Tomato Farmers Hopes Crushed Mercilessly by Lock Down | Several Areas in Chitoor in Disarray (Video)

         With no takers, many growers leave the crop unharvested

Tomato farmers in Madanapalle division of Chittoor district say they have completely surrendered to fate in the wake of lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak, while standing crop in hundreds of acres is being left unharvested.

The peak season for the farmers to make some money is between March and July, when thousands of tonnes of tomato make its way to metros and other cities in the country. Now, there are absolutely no takers for this perishable commodity.

Madanapalle revenue division, which harvests high quality crops round the year, is the largest tomato growing belt in Asia, with the acreage spread over 50,000 hectares. Close to 20,000 farmers depend on the agriculture market at Madanapalle. In mid-summer, over 1,500 tonnes of tomatoes reach the market daily, commanding a minimum price of ₹20 to ₹25 a kg.

 

Arrivals plummet
The lockdown has crushed their fortunes, while the arrival of stocks plummeting to half, and the price ranging between ₹3 and ₹5 per kg.

Maqbool Basha, a trader who regularly sends stocks to Bengaluru, says: “The hotel industry is closed temporarily, including bars, dhabas and roadside restaurants. Even a pani-puri outlet is not functioning. Who will buy the produce now?”

Basha, another trader at Madanapalle market, said: “The virus resulted in indefinite postponement of marriages. Birthday celebrations and post-death ceremonies are conducted unnoticed. In the absence of public gatherings, catering services are totally missing. Except for household consumption, not a single tomato is moving out.”

A tomato farmer of Goodupalle of Mulakalacheruvu mandal, A.V. Eeshwar Reddy, said that hundreds of farmers had abandoned their crops unharvested. “Though we have appealed to the government and the local politicians to take the crops free and distribute them to the public during the lockdown period, there is no response,” Mr. Reddy said.

Tomato growers unanimously say that there is no logic in expecting any luck in the year 2020, as they feel the COVID-19 would have its devastating impact on the hotel industry for at least six months, and large gatherings would be a taboo for any function.

Cost input

To raise the crop in one acre, it would cost ₹1.25 lakh, in addition to the labour component from land to market. The farmers unanimously maintain that unless tomato sells at ₹10 a kg, it would only lead to wreckage of their entire efforts. Tomato being a highly perishable goods, with a maximum shelf-life of a week, none dares to take a risk in the market.

#NewsOfTheDay
#EtvAndhraPradesh

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Tomato Farmers Hopes Crushed Mercilessly by Lock Down | Several Areas in Chitoor in Disarray  (Video)

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Summary
Tomato Farmers Hopes Crushed Mercilessly by Lock Down | Several Areas in Chitoor in Disarray  (Video)
Title
Tomato Farmers Hopes Crushed Mercilessly by Lock Down | Several Areas in Chitoor in Disarray (Video)
Description

With no takers, many growers leave the crop unharvested Tomato farmers in Madanapalle division of Chittoor district say they have completely surrendered to fate in the wake of lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak, while standing crop in hundreds of acres is being left unharvested. The peak season for the farmers to make some money is between March and July, when thousands of tonnes of tomato make its way to metros and other cities in the country. Now, there are absolutely no takers for this perishable commodity. Madanapalle revenue division, which harvests high quality crops round the year, is the largest tomato growing belt in Asia, with the acreage spread over 50,000 hectares. Close to 20,000 farmers depend on the agriculture market at Madanapalle. In mid-summer, over 1,500 tonnes of tomatoes reach the market daily, commanding a minimum price of ₹20 to ₹25 a kg. Arrivals plummet The lockdown has crushed their fortunes, while the arrival of stocks plummeting to half, and the price ranging between ₹3 and ₹5 per kg. Maqbool Basha, a trader who regularly sends stocks to Bengaluru, says: “The hotel industry is closed temporarily, including bars, dhabas and roadside restaurants. Even a pani-puri outlet is not functioning. Who will buy the produce now?” Basha, another trader at Madanapalle market, said: “The virus resulted in indefinite postponement of marriages. Birthday celebrations and post-death ceremonies are conducted unnoticed. In the absence of public gatherings, catering services are totally missing. Except for household consumption, not a single tomato is moving out.” A tomato farmer of Goodupalle of Mulakalacheruvu mandal, A.V. Eeshwar Reddy, said that hundreds of farmers had abandoned their crops unharvested. “Though we have appealed to the government and the local politicians to take the crops free and distribute them to the public during the lockdown period, there is no response,” Mr. Reddy said. Tomato growers unanimously say that there is no logic in expecting any luck in the year 2020, as they feel the COVID-19 would have its devastating impact on the hotel industry for at least six months, and large gatherings would be a taboo for any function. Cost input To raise the crop in one acre, it would cost ₹1.25 lakh, in addition to the labour component from land to market. The farmers unanimously maintain that unless tomato sells at ₹10 a kg, it would only lead to wreckage of their entire efforts. Tomato being a highly perishable goods, with a maximum shelf-life of a week, none dares to take a risk in the market. #NewsOfTheDay #EtvAndhraPradesh

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