Pune tomato farmer becomes millionaire in a month as prices soartext_fields
Pune: Amid the skyrocketing prices of tomatoes, a farmer from Pune in Maharashtra has become a millionaire by selling his yield of tomatoes for Rs three crore in just over a month, overcoming various challenges.
Farmer Ishwar Gaykar (36), from Pachghar village of Pune district, had faced the difficult decision of dumping a large quantity of harvested tomatoes in May this year due to low prices. But he continued to work tirelessly on his 12-acre farm to cultivate tomatoes, and now his hard work has finally paid off, transforming him into a millionaire as he claimed to have earned Rs three crore through the sale of his crop yield between June 11 and July 18.
Gaykar said during the period, he sold 18,000 crates of tomatoes (each crate comprising 20 kg of tomatoes) at the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) at Narayangaon in Junnar tehsil for Rs three crore.
He aims to earn another Rs 50 lakh by selling the remainder of the produce, which is roughly 4,000 crates.
Rs 40 lakh was his total input cost of cultivation, including transportation, he said.
On June 11, he fetched a price of Rs 770 per crate (Rs 37 to Rs 38 per kg), and on July 18, he sold tomatoes at Rs 2,200 per crate, that is, Rs 110 per kg .
“This is the best of times for the tomato growers, but we have witnessed worst times also. In the month of May, I grew tomatoes on one-acre land but had to throw away large quantities of the produce as the prices were very low. I had thrown the produce away as the per crate rate was just Rs 50, which means Rs 2.50 per kg,” he said.
Gaykar also said that in 2021, he incurred losses worth Rs 15 lakh to Rs 16 lakh, and last year also he just earned a narrow profit margin.
Another farmer Raju Mahale, who earned more than Rs 20 lakh by selling 2,500 crates in the current season, said he was also jittery about tomato cultivation after May as the per acre input cost was around Rs 3.5 lakh. But he went ahead with the cultivation, receiving good dividends now.
Narayangaon agriculture market trader Akshay Solat, who purchased Gaykar’s produce, said as there was a boom in the market again, he purchased tomatoes at Rs 2,400 per crate.
He, however, said only a handful of farmers have earned handsomely this season, including farmers from Pachghar, Otur, Ambegavhan, and Rokdi.
Narayangaon APMC chief Sanjay Kale said that generally in this season, their market receives 1.5 to 2 lakh crates of tomatoes per day, but in the current season, it has dropped to 30,000 to 35,000 crates per day.
“In the last two years, farmers incurred huge losses and could not recover their production costs, which resulted in a drop in production. During the summers, the tomato crop suffered from diseases, forcing the farmers to abandon their tomato farms,” he said.
The National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) last week started selling tomatoes at a discounted rate of Rs 90 per kg in Delhi-NCR and Patna in a bid to provide relief to consumers amid the high prices.
The Centre had directed the two cooperatives to procure tomatoes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra for distribution in major consumption centres, where retail prices have recorded a maximum increase in the last month.
“Though the NCCF and NAFED started selling tomatoes at the discounted rate, the government is buying the produce at Rs 110 or Rs 120 per kg, so farmers will continue to get what they are getting now,” Kale said.
With inputs from PTI