No takers for melons and tomatoes
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No takers for melons and tomatoes

June 9, 2021

While watermelons rot in Periyapatna, K.R. Nagar tomato growers dump produce on road

Periyapatna/K.R. Nagar: COVID-19 pandemic, which has created havoc in the State, has left many including farmers in distress. While watermelon growers in Periyapatna have suffered huge losses as there are no takers following the lockdown, tomato growers in K.R. Nagar have dumped their produce on roads and also in APMC Yard as they could not get the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their produce.

A watermelon grower at Periyapatna, who had grown a bumper crop by using good quality seeds and modern technology, has left the fruits to rot as there were no takers. Farmer Attar Matheen had planted watermelon seeds in his six acre land and had nurtured it till it began to bear fruits. But following COVID-induced lockdown, as no traders or roadside fruit vendors turned up to purchase the fruits, Matheen has left the fruits to rot in the field. This has resulted in Matheen suffering a loss of about Rs. 15 lakh.

Matheen said, “The Government had encouraged tobacco growers to grow alternate crops. But after growing watermelon, I have suffered a loss of Rs. 15 lakh as there were no takers. The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister had assured of providing compensation due to crop loss under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. It is time that the Chief Minister announces adequate compensations for those who have suffered crop loss.”

Field Officer of the Horticulture Dept. at Bettadapura Sridhar said that Matheen had grown a bumper watermelon crop in six acres using drip irrigation system and under his guidance. But as there were no takers, he has suffered a loss of about Rs. 7 lakh and has submitted a report to the higher officials and to the Government to provide compensation to Matheen.

Picture shows farmer Naveen of Hebbal village in K.R. Nagar, who dumped the tomatoes he had grown on the road as he did not get the MSP for his produce, staging a one-man protest on Saturday.

Tomatoes dumped 

Meanwhile, K.R. Nagar farmers, who had grown tomatoes, have dumped their produce on the road as they could not even get the MSP to their produce.

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Farmer Naveen of Hebbal village in K.R. Nagar, who had grown tomatoes, dumped the tomatoes on the road and staged a one-man protest on Saturday as he did not get the MSP for his produce. 

He said “The Taluk Administration and the State Government should immediately fix the MSP and I will not leave the spot till the tomatoes are purchased.”

He said that the COVID lockdown had brought problems to the farmers like him as people are allowed to make purchases only twice a week (this has been revised and purchases of essentials can be made daily from 6 am to 10 am). 

Even whole-sellers coming from other States have stopped coming now due to travel restrictions and there is no opportunity to sell the produce locally also, he said and added that in such situation farmers tend to commit suicide as they have to repay the loans taken to grow crops.

Farmer Krishnegowda dumping tomatoes at the APMC Yard on Saturday.

Soon, Police and local leaders rushed to the spot and tried to convince Naveen to call off his stir. But Naveen, who did not budge from the spot, told them that he would not move from the spot till his produce was purchased.

Gram Panchayat (GP) Member Manu told Naveen that he would compensate for his loss besides telling that he would speak with MLA S.R. Mahesh to give compensation. Following Manu’s assurance, Naveen withdrew his protest.

Meanwhile, farmer Krishnegowda, who had brought about 30 boxes of tomatoes grown by him to the APMC Yard on Saturday, dumped the tomatoes at the entrance of the APMC Yard for cattle and returned empty handed, as he did not get suitable price for his produce.

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