Tomato Troubles: Agriculture Commissioner’s Meeting Seeks Solutions In Pune

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Pune, 12th July 2023: Maharashtra Agriculture Commissioner Sunil Chavan chaired a review meeting to discuss measures regarding the recent surge in tomato prices in the market. The meeting, attended by Vice-Chancellors of Agricultural Universities, Research Directors, and District Superintendent Agricultural Officers, aimed to assess the situation and devise appropriate solutions.

During the meeting, Commissioner Chavan directed the officials to promptly provide information on the current area under tomato cultivation and production in the ongoing kharif season. Typically, the state witnesses tomato cultivation on an area of 56 to 57 thousand hectares, with around 40 to 42 thousand hectares in the kharif season and 16 to 17 thousand hectares in the rabi and summer seasons. This generally results in a production of approximately 10 lakhs tons.

However, the tomato prices experienced a significant decline between December 2022 and May 2023, which seemingly affected the cultivation of new tomato crops. Furthermore, unseasonal rains and hailstorms from March to May damaged tomato and other vegetable crops, leading to a decrease in overall production. Late arrival of rains, with only 54 percent of the average rainfall received this year, has further delayed cultivation, as stated by Chavan.

To address the situation, immediate measures for pest and disease prevention on tomato crops were emphasized. Major tomato cultivation regions such as Nashik, Pune, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Aurangabad, Latur, and Nagpur districts were instructed to provide detailed reports on new plantings to the respective District Superintendent Agricultural Officers.
The meeting concluded with a collective effort to tackle the tomato price hike and mitigate the challenges faced by tomato farmers in the state.