It could just be the manna tomato growers in Karnataka were hoping for. The Railways is now chugging in to help these distressed farmers, who were seen throwing their produce on the road just a few days ago.
Buoyed by the success of its ongoing Kisan Rail services from Kolar-Chikkaballapur region to New Delhi, the Bengaluru Railway Division is for the first time gearing up to dispatch tomatoes by express trains to West Bengal and New Delhi.
It has already done the trial runs, which have been successful.
Senior Divisional Commercial Manager AN Krishna Reddy told The New Indian Express, “After a trial run with 4 tonnes of tomatoes to the Howrah Railway Station, the feedback has been good. The consignment was not damaged and tomatoes were fresh too. Our representatives have spoken to tomato farmers and traders on starting the service. There is a glut in the market here and we can help farmers get a better price in Delhi and West Bengal.”
Secretary of APMC yard at Kolar, TS Ravikumar, said, “Tomato growers are struggling as their produce is not going out of the State because of Covid regulations. Before the Railways starts the service, traders should be brought on board as there are multiple points of handling the produce.”
CR Srinath, proprietor of CMR Traders at the yard, said, “Farmers are getting only Rs 5 to Rs 12 per kg of tomato now. The number of farmers growing tomatoes increased this year as prices were high last year. This has led to a glut in the market and prices have crashed.”