Saswat Singhdeo

Keonjhar: Protesting distress sale, enraged farmers dumped tomatoes in front of the Telkoi Block Office in Keonjhar today. The farmers resorted to the protest alleging that even at Rs 1 per kilogram, their tomatoes have remained unsold.

According to sources, there was a bumper harvest of tomatoes this year. However, the demand has not kept up and lack of proper marketing and storage facilities is leading to such distress sale.

"We are extremely frustrated over government's inability to resolve our issues which is why we dumped our produce. They should have set up cold storages as they promised, but nothing has been done yet," a tomato farmer of Telkoi, Bijaya Munda said.

Last year also, farmers had staged protest by dumping their produce in front of Keonjhar collector's office following which the State government had assured that a cold storage will be built in every block of the district. However, nothing has been done yet, farmers alleged.

Another tomato farmer of Ramachandrapur, Trinath Sahu said "I have done a lot of hard work and invested a lot of money in this, but now it has really become difficult and I am not being able to sell my produce. How will I take care of my family in such a situation?"

In Jagatsinghpur as well, farmers are facing similar situation as they have resorted to distress sale of tomatoes due to alleged failure of the district administration to provide safe storage facilities.

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