Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The Government cannot be blamed for the low prices of tomatoes, Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy said here on Thursday. Dr. Reddy was responding at a press conference to complaints that the Government while claiming to be 'farmer-friendly' had failed to ensure payment of remunerative price for vegetables.

He said the Government could buy any quantity of agriculture produce if MSP was declared for it. In case of non-MSP commodities like tomatoes, the Government could only intervene in the market.

Asked whether was it not the responsibility of the Government to help farmers, too, after having advised them to go in for ID crops, he said the Government would have such responsibility if ryots allowed change in the crop pattern as suggested by agriculture officials indicating exact extent under each crop.