Traders sell tomatoes, amid police security in Karnataka’s Kolar
Amid soaring tomato prices across the country, tomatoes is now being sold by the traders amid tight police security in Karnataka
KOLAR: Amid soaring tomato prices across the country, the much-sought-after vegetable in the Indian kitchens is now being sold by the traders amid tight police security.
It may sound odd, but it is a fact. The Karnataka Government has been carrying out the sale of tomatoes under the surveillance of police and CCTV networks after an increase in theft of tomatoes at Kolar Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), the second largest tomato market in Asia due to skyrocketing prices.
Currently, the price of a 14-kg tomato box at the Kolar market is ranging between Rs 2,200 and Rs 2,500. With this, the market has been witnessing an unprecedented rush from buyers and sellers thronging the premises for a fortnight. Various consignments of tomatoes are being exported to Bangladesh, Pakistan and also several other states in India.
According to APMC members, farmers have cultivated the tomato as the main income crop, over 20,000 hectares in Kolar district. With the price of tomatoes reaching an all-time high, the tomato farmers in the Kolar Gold Field (KGF) region, Mulbagal Malur and Bangarupet constituencies are making huge profits through the sale of ‘Red Gold’. For a month, amid the threat of tomato thefts, tens of farmers also stayed near the fields and in market yards with their agricultural produce, and police stepped up vigil to prevent undue incidents, the members said.
“As prices of tomatoes went up, the trading activity has also increased in the APMC market. We have deployed six policemen to the market itself on a shift basis. Apart from that, night patrolling in rural areas, especially the tomato-producing areas near Kolar, is also beefed up,” said a senior police official from Kolar Rural police station.