Lack of scientific pricing for tomatoes and other crops, insufficient power supply, crop loss, shortage of irrigation facilities have dealt a severe blow to farmers in Bagepalli taluk.
Although Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has the credit of being the first chief minister to present a separate agriculture budget, nothing significant has been achieved at the ground level, alleged farmers.
Lack of cheap credit and irregular power supply have added to farmers woes.
Nearly, 90 per cent of the farmers in the taluk are dependent on dry farming. While only five per cent of the farmers are dependent on borewells for agriculture. Accentuating their problems is the depleting groundwater resource.
Due to shortage of power supply, farmers are unable to meet water requirement through pumpsets and borewells.
Amid all the problems a few farmers in the taluk have started growing vegetables.
However, lack of scientific pricing has affected vegetable growers as well.
The sight of distraught farmers throwing tomatoes and other vegetables in the dumpyard has become a common feature in the taluk. Heaps of tomatoes were dumped in the market yards.
“The plight of tomato growers in the taluk is miserable. We are unable to recover even the cost of labour. If we add up transportation costs, commission paid towards mandi owners the amount earned through the sale of tomatoes is negligible. However, farmers can earn some profit if their produce is bought directly from the fields,” said Ramesh, a farmer.
“Farmers in the taluk and surrounding areas have taken up tomato cultivation on a large scale. Hence, both the Central and State governments by creating more facilities at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committees (APMCs) should ensure fair price to farmers.
To provide better storage facilities, a cold storage needs to be constructed in the taluk,” said Mandi Owners’ Association Taluk unit president H S Narendra.
Auction stalls to open today
The stalls newly constructed on the premises of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) in Chikkaballapur city for auction of tomatoes will be inaugurated on Monday.
District In-charge Minister Shobha Karandlaje will open the new counters constructed at an expenditure of about Rs 44 lakh and especially reserved for the sale of tomato, to convenience tomato growers, said APMC president Agalagurki Chandrashekhar.
Tomato growers will now get more space to store their produce. Also, the confusion and congestion, prominent features of the APMC market, will now be cleared, he added.