KOLAR, India -- Kolar, a city in India's southern state of Karnataka, is synonymous with its now-defunct gold fields. Today, the district's key export is "red gold" -- tomatoes being cultivated on over 20,000 hectares. But unlike gold, there are no guarantees in agriculture.
Despite a bumper crop this year, farmers are bitter because prices have crashed on the back of falling demand during the lockdown and restricted movement of traders and goods. A standard 15-kg box, which usually fetches 250 to 300 rupees ($3.40 to $4.10), is now selling for barely 70 rupees -- sometimes as low as 30. Desperate farmers are either allowing their crops to wither in the fields or dumping harvested tomatoes by the roadside.