Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tomato turns trash

I have some links with the 'farmer community'. Why some? Good enough! My mother comes from a farmer family. Add to this my father's obsession with sprawling fields, or the fiesty buffalos and graceful cows. So tales of 'how much milk this or that buffalo yields', 'how good or bad was the crop this year' or some such references fell upon my ears when I was growing up.

Back then, when we were merry little children, we were more in touch with the soil. Our trips to the native village are only fond remembrance now: how we used to roam about those farms of tobacco and cotton, and come across stray orchards of guava, banana or mango in between... Of how, with amazing skill, my brother could tell us whose farm we had crossed and whose farm we were now in...Such is the glory of owning land. Hmm, I am diverging from the topic.

Actually, the 'farmer connection', however faint or dis-functional it may be now, also makes me a bit more alert to the news of farmer suicides and yield and transport problems.

I read this trivia on Unfinished dream's blog the other day. The minuscule post led to some brainstorming at least between three or four of those who read the post. The trivia perhaps also led to this one on Baruk's blog. And while the 'trivia' had not entirely got scrubbed off my cognizance, I came across this article titled: 'At 10 paise, tomato turns trash'.

According to the article, farmers have dumped their tomato produce by the cartloads for the birds and beasts to feast on at the Hyderabad-Kurnool highway. Without proper transport or storage facilities, they cannot make any money out of the produce. Either sell at 10 paise, (which in any case is not getting any buyers) or leave them to rot. The bumper yield is now only a matter of concern instead of rejoice. Many farmers have tried to make pickles, and make-shift eateries selling tomato based dishes, but yet, there are not many takers for their innovation. They have now resorted to keeping baskets of tomatoes at temples and getting whatever the takers leave behind as a gift. Click here to read.

See the irony- just the other day, I was moved to write a post about disparity in India after seeing a man asking the price of one small tomato to the vegetable vendor outside my flat. He moved on without buying the tomato for two rupees.


I read in school that 'India is an agricultural country'.


-Gauri Gharpure