Tomato growers in Mandya district are cheerful as their produce continues to fetch remunerative price for the last two weeks. Department of Horticulture officials say that tomato price has been on an upswing since the beginning of this month and has shot up by three fold. The trend is expected to continue in the next two weeks.
Though Mandya is not a traditional tomato-growing district, a good number of farmers have raised tomatoes this year, a senior officer said.
The Irrigation Department had requested farmers not to cultivate paddy, sugarcane and other water-intensive crops as the water-level in Krishnaraja Sagar reservoir (KRS) was plummeting. Hence, hundreds of farmers in district have switched over to various tomato breeds, he explained.
Farmers in the district have got bumper yields and expect to produce at least four lakh quintals of tomato this year. A majority of their produce goes to markets in Bangalore, Ramanagaram, Mandya, Hosur, and Krishnagiri, the officer said. Farmers have cultivated tomatoes in Nagamangala, Malavalli, K.R. Pet, Mandya, Pandavapura and some parts of Mandya taluks.
In Nagamangala, they raised tomato crops in more than 520 hectares of land, M. Shantha, Senior Assistant Director, Department of Horticulture (Nagamangala taluk), told The Hindu. “The price of tomato was Rs. 45 a kg in Mandya market on Wednesday. It was Rs. 8 in the first week of July. The farmers are getting between Rs. 28 and Rs. 30 per kg,” Maranna, a naati tomato grower from Thimmana Hosuru, said.
However, according to growers, the price is expected to crash in August. A large number of farmers have raised tomatoes this season anticipating good returns. Hence, within three weeks the price will come down to Rs. 4 to Rs. 6 a kg, said Maranna, who has been growing tomatoes for the last 10 years. He has grown tomatoes on three acres of land.