Tomoto prices touch Rs. 3 to 4 a kg, all-time low in the recent past in the wholesale markets in Hosur, Royakottai, Krishnagiri and Shoolagiri in Krishnagiri district.
The prices were plummeted between Rs. 3 and 4 because of the bumper crop in this season. This affected the tomato farmers badly. They incur heavy loss due to increase in the prices of inputs, seeds, manpower and other costs for producing the tomatoes.
Due salubrious weather condition prevailed in Hosur, it is one of the prime agricultural belts in the State. Tomato, cabbage and potatoes produced in this region enjoy a premium price in all markets.
As tomato is a major revenue earner when compared with other crops is cultivated in more than 3,000 hectares in and around Hosur, Denkanikottai, Anchetti and Royakottai with an annual production of over 50,000 metric tonnes.
Tomatoes produced here are transported to wholesale markets at Rayakottai, Krishnagiri, Shoolagiri and Hosur in the district and sold to consumers in Palani, Dindigul, Trichy, Chennai, Bangalore and other cities.
Mr. B. Doorvasar, a whole sale merchant at the Royakottai tomato market told The Hindu on Sunday that the varieties such as Red Ruby, Surabi, 618, 1196 and Bramma were cultivated in large quantity by the farmers in this region. The crop cultivated in upper land gave good yield to the farmers was the reason for bumper harvest in this season.
The market receives 3,000 to 4,000 grades (25 kgs) of tomato daily to the market and was sold through auction at 11 a.m. Traders from Palani, Kinathukadavu, Madurai and southern district thronged here to buy tomato. The price tag was hovering around Rs. 60 to 100 per grade of tomato for the last two weeks as against Rs. 1,000 to Rs.1,200 three months ago, he adds.
He also said that the tomato from Pathalapalli wholesale market in Hosur and Royakottai market were the main markets for Tomato in the region. Daily around 80 to 90 tonnes of tomato is being sent to the wholesale vegetable market in Koyambedu in Chennai. Apart from this, the tomato also is being sent to Kumbakonam, Trichy, Coimbatore, Pudukkottai, Aranthangi and Karaikkudi etc.
Due to the large arrival, the farmers will be the losers, many of them will not get even their production cost. The lower prices will exist till the end of Tamil month Aadi (third week of August), Mr. Doorvasar hopes that the prices will improve once the Muhurtham and festival season starts.
Cold storage need of the hour
Tomato farmers told The Hindu that the cold storage, regulated market by the government and establishing pulp industries in this region will only help farmers to get remunerative prices for their produce. It will also help from the exploitation by the tomato wholesale merchants.