(Dilip Patel, Gandhinagar)
Tomato prices in Gujarat are at a 5-year low. In 2020, the price was Rs 4 per kg. At present, farmers barely get Rs 50 a year. Which actually gives profit by hard work on getting 250 rupees for 20 kg. This simply means that farmers are getting Rs 200 less per 20 kg.
The cost of one padki seed is Rs.1300. The cost of this is also unaffordable. Many farmers are in debt. 20 lakh tonnes of tomatoes are grown in all the three seasons. It is estimated that 1.5 million tonnes of tomatoes are produced in winter. Three thousand rupees are available for one ton. Which ton should get Rs 10,000. According to that, farmers have suffered a loss of Rs 350 crore even after considering 5 lakh tonnes of low-cost winter crop.
The farmers are demanding that tomatoes should be bought at the support price of Rs 250. No price control. Middlemen charge higher prices.
In November 2021, the retail price of tomato in cities reached Rs 120 per kg. Now farmers are being given Rs 3 per kg and traders are giving Rs 15 to 20 per kg to city dwellers. 8 months ago in Anand-Kheda, the price of one kg of tomatoes had reached Rs.100. Now the farmers have to pay Rs 3 to 4 per kg.
Tomato was planted in 67751 hectares in 2021-22. In which the maximum was 8355 hectares in Anand. Mehsana was second with 5900 hectares. Kheda district has 4690 hectares on the third number. More cultivation is done in Ahmedabad, Chhotaudepur, Rajkot, Amarli, Kutch, Dahod.
20 lakh tonnes of tomatoes are grown in all the three seasons. It is estimated that 1.5 million tonnes of tomatoes are produced in winter. It is grown in three seasons monsoon, winter and summer. Average 21 °C. to 23 degree C. The hotter the harvest, the better. Tomato as a monsoon crop cannot be grown successfully in areas with high rainfall. Tomatoes take 130 to 150 days to ripen while the farmer works hard to irrigate 8 to 10 times.
A large number of farmers produce tomatoes in Naswadi, Sankheda, Kawant areas of Chhotaudepur district.
Due to the traders, the farmers are not even getting the basic price.
Tomato prices were very good when the season started. The price of 25 kg tomatoes was 400 to 500 rupees. The condition of the farmers has become pathetic due to fall in the prices of tomatoes.
In interior districts like Chhota Udepur, the price of tomato is available only at Rs 1-2 per kg. It is the farmers’ turn to sell vegetables at a lower price than the fallow.
8.30 lakh tonnes of tomato is grown in Central Gujarat. In which 2.75 lakh tonnes of tomatoes have ripened in Anand. 2 lakh tonnes of tomatoes are grown in Mehsana. On an average, 29-30 tonnes of tomatoes are grown per hectare in Gujarat. But Banaskantha and Sabarkantha are such districts where 37 thousand tonnes of tomatoes are produced per hectare. Surat has the lowest productivity in the entire state. Which is 20 tonnes per hectare.
Last year, winter vegetables were planted in 1 lakh 58 thousand hectare. Which has become 1 lakh 84 thousand hectare in December 2022 this year. The average planting of the last 3 years is 2 lakh hectares of vegetables planted in winter.
Most of the vegetables are grown in central Gujarat. Anand and Suraj districts grow the maximum number of vegetables.
In Gujarat, vegetables were grown on 8 lakh 33 thousand hectares in all the three seasons in 2021-22. In which 1.67 lakh tonnes production was expected. Which shows production of 20 tonnes per hectare.
Potato sowing has increased from 1.23 lakh hectare to 1.29 lakh hectare. In that too, farmers can get a lower price. Potatoes are grown in 5 districts of North Gujarat. No other potato is cultivated in Gujarat.
The average cultivation of onion is 64 thousand hectares. But in 2021 it was 81 thousand hectares and by December 2022 it has become 69 thousand hectares. Last year the prices were low, this time onion prices may increase.