Farmers selling vegetables and fruits at Dedicated Economic Centres, particularly at Dambulla and Bandarawela, have been forced to throw away their produce unable to get a fair price due to the lack of facilities.

Farmers recently complained that a kilo of tomatoes was going at a bulk wholesale price of between Rs 8 and Rs 15 at the Dambulla Dedicated Economic Centre and that they had difficulty even securing Rs 100 for a box of tomatoes.

The All Ceylon Peasants Federation noted that the said fate was not solely relegated to tomatoes but also in relation to green chillies and other vegetables.

National Organizer of the Federation, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Northwestern Provincial Councillor, Namal Karunaratne said that in Bandarawela, cabbage farmers too were unable to sell their produce.

Tomato farmers have refrained from harvesting the fruits which in turn has resulted in the fruits rotting before plucking.

In Dambulla, he added that farmers had resorted to discarding their produce into garbage dumps.

“To harvest, farmers have to incur costs for seeds, fertilizer, agrochemicals, equipment, labour, packaging and transportation. They have to pay out of their own pockets. This is a very unfortunate situation,” Karunaratne pointed out. RLJ