As Tomato Prices Soar, Farmers Make Windfall Gains Across India
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As the surge in tomato prices have been the bane of our kitchens, Indian farmers have been faced with a rain of fortune. The eight-fold increase in tomato prices caused due to significant damage of the crop, transportation issues and weather conditions have forced consumers to bid farewell to tomatoes from their kitchens. A key component of most Indian cooking, tomatoes have brought in all the luck for farmers in Maharashtra, Pune, Telengana and Karnataka. This shortage has led to a high demand and increase in value for the commodity, with people finding creative ways to ensure that they’re well-stocked.

Our farmers on the other hand, who sold tomatoes for as little as INR 2.5 per kilo, have now seen a 700% price hike with tomatoes flying off the shelves for as high as INR 130 per kilo. A supposedly short-lived phenomenon, the government has now taken measures to sell tomatoes at a subsidised price, getting assistance from mobile vans. Let’s take a look at some highlights of the windfall gains made by these farmers:


A farmer from the Junnar city in Maharashtra danced his way to the bank with a whopping 2.4 crores in tomato sales. Ishwar Gaykar and his wife, who grew tomatoes in the city, along with the assistance of 60-70 workers, has supplied around 350 tonnes of tomatoes in the last few weeks and hopes to sell another 150 before the shortage ends. As retail prices of tomatoes skyrocket, Gaykar shared that his harvests occur thrice a year, as a result of which he gained celebrity status around town.


In Telangana’s Medak district, a farmer chanced upon a gold mine for his stock of tomatoes, hitting a 2 crore jackpot. Banswada Mahipal Reddy managed to sell off 8,000 boxes of tomato harvest, each weighing over 25 kilos, for INR 100 per kilo. The 40-year old school dropout was then congratulated by the chief minister, K. Chandrashekhar Rao for producing a whopping tomato crop for the season, while also emphasising the need to discover innovative farming methods for the cultivation of commercial crops.

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A family of farmers from the Kolar district in Karnataka found the nation-wide shortage to be their lucky chance at bagging a sweet deal. Selling close to 2,000 boxes of tomatoes for 38 lakh Rupees, the brothers sold each 15 kilo box of tomatoes for INR 1,900 apiece. Saranappa Karti and his family are one among the lucky few that managed to save their crop as farmers across the state were hit with the disastrous climatic conditions that destroyed most of their crops. To add to this, the widespread reportage of tomato thefts only made it an achievement for these farmers to have made it against all odds.