The 39-year-old farmer, Madhukar, and his wife Sunita Shingane took a loan of Rs 3 lakh to grow tomatoes and they spent over Rs 4 lakh in total for the harvest. But they say it seems unlikely they will be able to recover the money.
"We have thrown away 5,000 crates of tomatoes grown on our two-acre land. The production and the labour costs have not been covered . All our money was invested in farming, and now, we are driven to the verge of committing suicide," Sunita says.
In February, at a political rally in Karnataka, Prime Minister Narendra Modi used an acronym "TOP" to stress that farmers were his top priority. "TOP", according to the prime minister, stood for "Tomato, Onion and Potato". But while farmers still have no minimum support price or MSP to fall back on, even bumper crop in Maharashtra has led to severe losses and distress sale.
Amid a growing discontent among the farmers due to the tomato glut, they say they are now looking towards the government for some assistance. But so far, there has been no word from the authorities concerned on the situation.
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