PULI KHUMRI (Pajhwok): Farmers in northern Baghlan province say tomato harvest is significantly high this year, but its prices are negligibly low, causing them financial losses.
Abdul Hai, a farmer of Tara Khel village of Dehna Ghori district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that he used to cultivate tomatoes on his one acre of land every year.
“The yield of tomatoes is remarkable this year but its prices in the market are very low and cannot even meet the input cost,”he said.
He said: “Seven kilos of tomatoes are sold for 25 or 30 afs in the market which cannot cover the expenses of tractor plough and fertilizers”.
Ahmadzai, another farmer of the same area, held similar views and said: “The farmers pay 1,800 afs for an hour work of tractor, a 50 kilogram bag of fertilizer is sold for 2,500 afs, if we sell seven kilos of tomatoes for 30 afs, it does not make any profit and even less than the expenses”.
Some other farmers made similar remarks and asked the government to establish cold storages and find proper market for their harvests.
Waliullah Amar Khel, media office head at the provincial Agriculture and Livestock Department, told Pajhwok that farmers were offered proper advice and seeds this year, which led to bumper tomato yield.
According to Amar Khel’s information, 898 hectares of land was grown with tomatoes last year in Baghlan, producing 22,000 metric tonnes of the vegetable.
Tomatoes were grown on the same amount of land this year as well and its yield registered a three percent increase.
He said the government was trying to find suitable market for all local agricultural products.
During the same season last year, seven kilograms of tomatoes were sold for around 60-100 afs while the same quantity of the vegetable is sold for around 25-40 afs this year.