Tamil Nadu Agricultural Department has implemented a rationing system for sale of tomatoes in Coimbatore to prevent bulk purchases at Uzhavar Sandhais or farmers’ markets.
According to the agricultural department, an individual consumer can buy a maximum of 2 kg of tomatoes while 5 kg can be bought for functions by producing invitations for the function to the concerned officers at the Uzhavur Sandhais.
Coimbatore has seven Uzhavur Sandhais and the arrival of tomatoes to these Sandhais has been affected following heavy rains in many parts of the state.
Manager of Coimbatore East Sandhai, Jayakumar N while speaking to IANS said: “Generally all the seven sandhais of Coimbatore put together get 20-25 tonnes per day but now after the rains, it has come down to 12-15 tonnes per day. This has prompted the department to implement the rationing system of 2 kg per individual and 5 kg for functions
Tomato farmers also said that heavy rains have led to difficulty in transportation of the product and hence the local buying agents are not paying the farmers properly.
Periyasamy, a tomato farmer at Valparai told IANS: “I am worried as I have more than 20 boxes of tomato with me. A buying agent has offered me Rs 550 per box. 1 box has 15 kg of tomatoes and I have readily agreed to sell the product as I can’t wait any longer even though I know this is a loss for me.”
Farmer association leader K. Murugesan said: “A Heavy rains have affected the tomato farmers in large numbers as we are not able to sell the product due to transport constraints, bad and broken roads and hence we have to sell tomatoes at the rates fixed by middlemen. This is affecting us as most of the farmers have taken loans and cultivated the product. Agricultural department has asked us to sell the products at Uzhavar Sandhai and they have promised good money. We are yet to decide on that.”