Tomato prices in Jharkhand have touched the sky, selling at between Rs 80-100 per kg. This is in sharp contrast to a few months ago, when farmers were throwing tomatoes on the roads as prices had dipped to Rs 3 per kg.
“The prices of green vegetables, particularly tomatoes, are touching the sky. In January and February, we were buying tomatoes at Rs 3 to Rs 5 per kg. It touched Rs 50 last month and now it is available at Rs 80 to Rs 100 per kg,” said Dezi Kumari, a housewife.
The prices of French beans and capsicum have touched Rs 100 per kg. Jharkhand witnesses bumper production of tomatoes every year but the vegetable is thrown on the roads due to lack of cold storage facilities and no support from the state government, farmers said.
“We get no support from the state government… We were not able to get even the transport cost this year which forced us to throw tomatoes on the roads. Taking back tomatoes from the market would have cost much more than the production cost,” Sarthi Mahto, a tomato grower, told IANS. The tomatoes rot when not preserved in cold storage, say farmers.
“The farmers’ lives could be changed if the state government makes arrangements for its (tomatoes) preservation. Jharkhand is one of the states where good quality of tomatoes and peas are produced but the farmers are not getting the market,” said another farmer, Nandlal Munda. Four farmers have committed suicide this year in Jharkhand due to debt.