ADILABAD: Farmers, who have been cultivating tomato crops for a long time, are now looking up to the state government for setting up a tomato-based food processing unit in Adilabad district.
The farmers feel its necessity as many tomato farmers have been suffering losses due to a fall in demand when the yield is high and in the absence of cold storage facilities.
There are instances whereby farmers dumped their crop on roads or fed animals instead of taking the produce to the market as they wished to avoid high transportation costs.
The state govt is setting up food processing units in the districts and identifying places where there is feasibility.
Rythu Swarajya Vedika district president Sangepu Borranna said if a tomato-based food processing unit is established in Indravelli, tomato sauce, chips and pickles could be manufactured with the locally produced tomato crop.
He said the tomato products can be marketed locally and elsewhere and it can add value to the tomato crop and benefit local farmers with a good price.
Officials from the infrastructure development wing recently inspected the available government land near Kajjarla in Talamadugu mandal for the proposed food processing unit.
Tomato cultivation is high in Gudihathnoor, Ichoda, Indravelli, Utnoor, Kerameri, and Jainoor mandals.
Farmers have often lamented that it was the middlemen and brokers who exploit tomato farmers and make huge profits by selling them at Rs 50-70 per kg, while the farmers incur losses because of damage caused to tomato crop by fog and bad weather conditions. Some progressive farmers are cultivating tomato crops using Polyhouse method with the subsidy given by the state government and they are even supplying the produce to markets where there is huge demand.
But, small and marginal farmers are at the receiving end as they do not have cold storage facilities....