The abrupt drop in tomato prices in Anantapur wholesale marketplaces has surprised farmers. Because tomatoes are so inexpensive, some farmers have left them in the fields unharvested. Tomatoes currently cost between Rs.1 and Rs.2.50 per kilo.

Several farmers in the district started growing tomatoes in November, boosted by favourable rains and expecting big profits. On 30,000 acres across the area, the vegetable was grown. The harvesting season and a yield of 22 to 25 tonnes per acre boosted tomato arrivals in the second week of February.

Tomatoes were once a low-cost crop, but they have recently become a high-cost crop. For one acre, the investment ranges between Rs.30,000 and Rs.1 lakh.

“I spent Rs.5 lakh on an eight-acre tomato farm.” I intended to make a profit, but by the time I sold my harvest, I had lost money. I’ve only made Rs.50,000 so far. In the fields, there are another 1,000 boxes.

The price was initially Rs.60 per 30 kg box, but it was cut to Rs.50 the next day, and then to Rs.30. “However, the trader did not show up to lift the vegetable cartons,” Krishna Reddy of Dasampalle in Kalyandurg mandal stated.

Begala Chinna Raju of Peruru in Ramagiri mandal said he and his brother grew tomatoes on an eight-acre plot and were anticipating good results. They paid Rs.30,000 per acre for the land. “I’m not sure if I’ll be able to recoup my investment now,” the dejected farmer remarked.

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