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Andhra Pradesh tomato farmers decide on distress sales

Tomato farmers across Andhra Pradesh, one of the top producers in the country, are in distress with rain quenching their hopes. Though the prices in the retail market have not come down with tomatoes-most sought after for any season are in high demand all over the year, the farmers are not getting remunerative prices. The incessant rains and moisture content have also led to damage to their yields.

The higher prices which they used to get by exporting to Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have also stopped due to availability of locally grown tomatoes there. Undivided Chittoor, Kurnool, Prakasam and Anantapur are the largest producing areas in the State. In fact, Madanapalle has earned the reputation as one of the topmost tomato production centres in Asia. Farmers say due to the changing climate, their yield has come down from 2,000 ton per day to 500.

"The situation is very bad. We are unable to get the money put into growing tomatoes forcing many not to pluck it as taking them to the market yard for sale to the wholesale traders will force us to spend more," said one farmer from Valmikipuram in Rayachoti division of the new Anamaya district.

Heavy rainfall degraded the quality of tomatoes in Madanapalle region has also resulting in steep fall in the prices. Most of the farmers left the produce in fields and on roads as the price was not viable to take it to the market yard. For the past few days, tomato prices have been falling again which is varying between Rs 3 to 5 at Madanapalle market yard. Only A-grade quality tomatoes which are coming to the market in less quantity are being sold at a maximum rate of Rs 8 to 10 per kg.

[ Rs 100 = €1.20 ]


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