Farmers in Nashik and Aurangabad dumped tomatoes on the road as the prices crashed in the wholesale market. Tomatoes are priced ₹2-3 per kg in the wholesale market and ₹25-30 kg in the retail market. This is the lowest the prices have fallen to in three years.
Farmers in Nashik and Haryana brought the tomatoes in tractor-trolleys to protest at the Lasur station and demanded better procurement rates from wholesalers. They said dumping the produce was a more viable option as the selling rates were not enough to cover even transportation costs.
According to officials, the wholesale prices have crashed due to significant rise in the supply in comparison to the sluggish demand in the country.
According to the APMC data, the wholesale price of tomatoes in August stood at ₹750.63 per quintal in Maharashtra and at ₹2,037.77/quintal in July.
Around 10 lakh farmers cultivate tomatoes in Nashik district which comprises almost 20 percent of the country’s production, as per the Times of India report. The market here supplies tomatoes to Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Haryana.
Farmers in Maharashtra’s Nashik, (Pimpalgaon market), were selling the vegetables for ₹664.19 per quintal in August. In Pune’s wholesale market, the price of the vegetable is only around Rs 5-10/kg.
Nashik APMC secretary Arun Kale told ABP Live that the supply of tomatoes at the market has doubled from 20,000 crates (20 kg a crate) to 47,000 crates a day but the demand has been quite low.
During August 2020, around 50,000 crates of tomatoes were produced in the ‘mandis’ in Nashik in a day, and the number has increased to around 2.75 lakh crates a day this year, stated the media report.
In spite of the first wave of coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown, tomato growers had reported good returns in 2020, with the vegetable trading above Rs 20/kg for most of the year.