Tomato prices have more than tripled in the past 15 days to Rs 80 per kg in the capital,easily beating the plunging Indian rupee’s exchange power vs US dollar. What is worse for consumers,this trend may continue to pinch due to heavy rain in tomato producing states,which will in turn affect supplies. “Supply of tomato has been affected as harvesting has been hampered due to continuous rains in some states like Haryana,” Horticulture Commissioner Gorakh Singh said.
Rain has disrupted picking operations in Haryana,Uttarakhand,Himachal Pradesh and east Punjab,while the condition of the crop has also deteriorated,he said. Noting that the state governments are assessing the quantum of damage to crops,Singh said normally,vegetable prices remain slightly high during the rainy season because of picking,transportation and storage problems. Tomato supplies to the Delhi market have also been affected by blocked roads following the recent landslides and flash floods in Uttarakhand,he added.
According to the Delhi Agricultural Marketing Board,current tomato arrivals at the Azadpur wholesale market have declined by 50 per cent to 2,833 quintals per day from 15 days ago.
Besides supply constraints,tomato prices have risen as transportation costs have increased with recent hikes in the price of diesel,traders said. Prices will be under pressure until supplies improve,they added. Tomato is being sold at Rs 47 per kg at Azadpur wholesale market,compared with Rs 60-80 per kg in retail outlets. Good quality tomato from Karnataka is priced higher,while the rain-hit crop is available at Rs 30-40 per kg,traders added. Tomato production in the country is estimated to be 18 million tonnes this year. Maximum output comes from Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka and Odisha.