Lack of cold storages in Jagatsinghpur forces tomato farmers to go for distress sale

Bhubaneswar: Farmers of Alipingala in Jagatsinghpur are a worried lot now as they have been forced to resort to distress sale of tomatoes due to failure of the district administration in ensuring safe storage of their agricultural produce.

The district administration has been unable to set up a cold storage which is why resentment has started to brew among tomato farmers in the area.

The farmers rued that they have been selling tomatoes at Rs 2-3 per kilo and are unable to get the right price. Moreover, they are now concerned over repaying the loans that they had taken for agricultural purposes.

Farmers of Jorakula village demanded the district administration to facilitate the sale of tomatoes at a proper price.

“Due to cheap price, we are unable to sell tomatoes here. Had there been a cold storage in the area, tomatoes could have been stored properly. Then we could think of repaying loans with the profit,” said Aniruddha Bhoi, a tomato farmer, Jorakula.

Toeing similar lines, another tomato farmer Niranjan Bhuyan said, “Tomatoes have been damaged in the farmland. As the agricultural produce could not reach the market, it is difficult to get the right price and repay loans. If the government had wished to take steps for selling of the vegetables, we would have got some profit.”

For the past years, the farming community of the locality has been grappling with a host of issues. Above all, the forest land rights have not been handed over to the farmers yet, rued Rabindra Bhoi, another tomato farmer.

The concerned district administration is yet to respond.