Now, armed security guards in Indore protect tomatoes as price soars
With half-a-dozen armed security guards around a truck, you would think it is carrying some precious cargo like jewellery or electronic goods. But it is actually carrying only tomatoes.
With tomato prices going through the roof, there is a scramble to procure whatever is available and the risk of theft has increased.
Ironically, many farmers in Madhya Pradesh dumped tomatoes on the roads after a bumper production brought its price to lower than Re 1 per kg about a month ago. But now it is the most expensive vegetable and at Indore’s Devi Ahilya Bai Holker vegetable mandi.
The sudden shortage has meant that the vegetable is being quoted at Rs 100 per kg.
“Security of tomatoes with its skyrocketing prices is of considerable concern for wholesalers. Thieves attacked a tomato laden truck and looted 2600 kg tomatoes in Mumbai on July 15. This has added to Indore businessmen’s concerns,” said Santosh Narang, a wholesaler of the mandi.
To keep the tomatoes safe, the businessmen asked for security arrangements from the mandi administration, which appointed half a dozen armed guards. The guards are also providing security inside the mandi during market hours.
Officials said more than 11 trucks arrived in the mandi on Saturday.
Mandi inspector Ramesh Sawadiya said, “The businessmen had given a letter demanding proper security arrangements particularly during unloading of trucks laden with tomatoes. The guards have been deployed after that request.”