Jharkhand farmers dump tomatoes on roads

Ranchi, Dec 25 – Call it irony. At a time when tomatoes are selling for up to Rs.40 a kg, farmers in Jharkhand are dumping them on roads because they are not getting money that meets even their production cost.

At Rangamati, on the Ranchi-Jamshedpur national highway just 70 km from here, angry farmers are throwing away their produce.

‘There is bumper production of tomatoes. There is no place to keep them. In the evening when we return home we dump them on the roads. Who is going to bear the transportation cost?’ farmer Gurudas Mahto asked Saturday.

Echoing his view, Jagdish Oraon said: ‘Why should we sell tomatoes at any cost less than what it cost us?’

Farmers say it costs them Rs.5-6 to produce a kg of tomatoes. They want Rs.8-10 from the middlemen, who are willing to pay only Rs.4-6.

The government is indifferent, say the farmers.

Jharkhand agriculture department secretary A.K. Singh told IANS: ‘The farmers should form a cooperative to sell their products in the market. The government can assist in the formation of the cooperative but can’t buy vegetables or sell them.’

Farmers content they cannot afford to sell in the market.

‘It is impossible to travel 70-100 km every day to the market. It is the duty of the government to form such cooperatives in each block and in villages,’ said Khagendra Mahto, another farmer.

source:  www.indiatalkies.com