SOLAN: The low returns from tomato have shocked the growers of this area who were already reeling under debt trap. The throwaway prices of tomato in past few years have dampened the spirit of growers badly.
Observations showed that the growers usually got handsome prices only for short period when the season started in mid June. However after that the prices crashed due to arrival of produce from other states. The market prices during most of season remained below Rs. 6 per kg.
For producing tomato the growers were generally taken loans from cooperative societies and banks. The most of growers have reportedly turned defaulters in repaying the loans.
The amount of loans ranged from Rs. 10,000 to 50,000 however in few cases the loan amount could be more based upon land holding with growers. The growers were even facing problem to repay the loan amount of Rs. 10,000 thanks to the increasing production cost and deceasing returns.
Tomato that till now was known as cash crop has now gradually turned into woes crop for them. The revenue from tomato has declined to half as it used to be in last decade, opined growers at Chakki Ka Mour vegetable market. Those were days when tomato was like gold for us but things turned quite adverse now, they rued.
The growers were quite critical of not giving insurance back up for tomato. This was the main reason behind present scenario, they claimed. Where the apple has insurance back up no such arrangement has made for tomato. This was an apparent case of giving favour to one area and discarding the others, they maintained.