Photo used for indicative purpose only. Source: Internet

Shimla, July 7
The district Solan and Sirmaur, which is known as the red gold mine has come under recession as tomato prices have declined for a few days. The Bangalore produce has overshadowed the tomato market in the country now. So, the 25 kg tomato crate, selling around Rs 1100 to 1400, has been slashed to Rs 400-500 per crate. This decline in the Market at Mahipur, Parada, Chaknal, Neharswar, Mangarh, Nala Baka, Bagthan, and Badu Sahib villages of Renuka Ji, has disappointed the farmers.
Suresh Sharma, Haridutt, Pinky, Madan Thakur, etc. inform that farmers face a similar crash every year as the rainy season arrives. They said that the farmers irrigate the tomato crop with buckets and cans by sweating their blood without having enough irrigation facilities, but every year during this time, they are hit by the recession. And in a lack of facilities or backup arrangements, they are compelled to sell the crops grown with their hard-earned money and blood and sweat at throwaway prices.
They added that a fact known to all is that tomatoes are a perishable crop. Yet, surprisingly, the government has set up no high-capacity cold store in this mid-belt. A high-capacity cold store can help farmers maximise earnings from their produce. Under the umbrella of a cold store, these producers can then sell the crop at the appropriate time and thus will not be guided by the market forces.
Not only this, but the roads in rural areas are also not so good that farmers can take their crops from the field to the Market on time. Roads in rural areas are often closed during the rainy season, due to which, many times, the tomatoes and other vegetables rot in the field, the informed.
Moreover, apart from roads in the mid-belt of Sirmaur, there is no option for rope-way transportation anywhere. Farmers say that in the last four years, they had high hopes from the double engine government, but only seminars, meetings and lucrative promises were seen in the interest of the farmers.
They allege that none of the plans have taken off at the ground level. The farmers also say that Sirmaur is a district with a big place in the government. BJP State President, MP Suresh Kashyap, and Baldev Bhandari belong to the middle belt, while there is also a minister from Sirmaur in the government. Along with this, Baldev Tomar, who belongs to the Shillai assembly constituency, couldn’t provide any benefit to suffering farmers due to the crashing of the Market.
They say the government has also implemented a drone policy, but the farmers are not seeing its existence anywhere. If the government thinks about the interests of farmers according to local problems at the local level, better results could have been achieved. The plans made by sitting in the AC rooms rarely prove beneficiaries to farmers.
They added that the rising cost of input like fertilisers and pesticides and fuel prices is hardly reimbursed from the market prices being received these days.


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