Tomato prices have crashed by at least 50 per cent at the wholesale market in Nashik and are being sold at Rs 2.5-9 per kg due to higher production this season and lower exports, according to traders.
Tomatoes in some areas have also got damaged due to adverse weather conditions, forcing farmers to dump their produce on roads, they added. Nashik APMC Secretary Arun Kale said the prices of tomatoes have come down to Rs 50-180 per crate, 20 kg each, this season (June-January), depending on the quality compared to Rs 300-350 per crate in the previous season.
”Lack of exports, higher production in the area and uneven distribution of rainfall affecting the quality of the produce that made it highly perishable than before, especially the Kesar variety, forced many farmers to dump their produce on roads,” Kale told PTI.
Additionally, he said that higher fuel prices have made the input cost much more than the wholesale prices, which is another reason that farmers are finding it difficult to transport their produce to the mandis and instead dumping it.
Balasaheb Patole of Nashik APMC further noted that till now, around 1,000-1,500 crates of tomatoes have been dumped by farmers.
However, things have been improving for the past 1-2 days as the arrivals have slowed down and better quality of tomatoes are arriving in the mandi.
”Things are improving, however, we cannot say when the prices will normalise,” he added.
Rahul Avhad, a farmer, said the production had gone up as last year, the tomato prices were very good, and the yield this year is very high.
”We are unable to get even the minimum cost, including the labour as well as the transport, that we had invested for the crop due to the price crash. So, instead of spending more to bring our produce to the mandi, we are dumping them,” he stated.
Now, he said the farmers are harvesting less and leaving the crop instead, which has resulted in slowdown of arrivals.