Chennai, May 20 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu Agriculture department has introduced two mobile tomato processing units to help farmers overcome fluctuating prices of the vegetable in Dharmapuri, the tomato hub of the state.
The prices of tomato are now at an all time high with Thursday recording Rs 100 to 110 per kg of tomato. In December 2021, the price of tomato was Rs 90 per kilogram while in March 2022 it crashed to Rs 5 and Rs 7. In May 2022, the prices touched anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 110 per kilogram.
The Tamil Nadu Agriculture Marketing Department introduced two mobile tomato processing units to help the farmers convert the tomato into value added products like sauce, jam and juice. This will help the farmers to overcome the fluctuating prices to an extent thereby supporting them from falling into debt traps.
It is to be noted that tomato is the most cultivated crop in Dharmapuri which is considered as the tomato hub of Tamil Nadu. In this district, tomato is cultivated in around 2460 hectares and the yield at an average is over 58,400 tonnes a year.
An officer with the Tamil Nadu Agriculture department told IANS: “During off seasons, farmers dump their produce as they don’t get prices and with the help of mobile units, they can convert their produce into value added products thus reaping profits.
R. Chllappan, a tomato farmer at Dharmapuri said: “We think that the Mobile Processing Units will help us overcome the issue of dumping tomatoes when price falls and if we can make value added products, the losses can be curtailed and help prevent farmers from falling into a debt trap.”