Fall in prices, coupled with rising costs and low demand, apparently brought about by demonetisation, has forced farmers in Shajapur district to dump their tomatoes, weeks after onion growers did the same in several parts of the country.
Scores of farmers dumped their tomatoes on the roads outside mandis (marketplace) and outskirts of the villages as the rate—around Rs 100-120 per quintal, down from Rs 300-400—was less than the input costs.
On top of this, they had to pay mandi charges and transportation costs, which have risen due to fuel price hike.
Farmers from Chosala, Bercha, Kelawad, Bharad, Newasa, Kanar and other villages in the district claimed that not only tomato, but prices of potatoes, onions, and seasonal vegetables including green peas have crashed.
“Hundreds of tomato growers bring their crop here anticipating that they would fetch good prices, but they are hardly getting Rs 100 to 120 for one quintal of tomatoes,” rued Ramswaroop Patidar (50), who grows seasonal vegetables in his one bigha land in Chosala village.
“How can one take his crop back to his place after spending a good amount on transportation and having to spend on it again? It’s good to dump our crop on the road,” he said.
While some farmers blamed it on demonetisation and cash crunch, Shajapur mandi secretary Rajesh Mishra dismissed the allegations, saying high supply and low demand had caused the prices to fall.
The Madhya Pradesh government had announced facilities such as cash vans and transport subsidy for farmers to face cash crunch, but farmers claimed they are yet to receive them.
According to sources, the daily supply of tomatoes at Shajapur mandi is around 200 to 300 crates as many farmers are sending their crop directly to Bhopal and Indore markets.
They claimed that the rates were “decent” at Indore and Bhopal mandis.