NEW DELHI, Sept 12 (PTI): Retail prices of tomato on Saturday skyrocketed to Rs 80-85 per kg in the national capital due to tight supply from growing areas, according to private traders. Tomato prices have been firm since June and were ruling in the range of Rs 50-60 per kg depending on the variety till last few weeks. The rates have suddenly shot up this week on reports of lower arrival of the new crop from key growing states, traders said.
On Saturday, tomato was quoted at Rs 80-85 per kg by vegetable hawkers and vendors in unorganised markets depending on the quality and residential colonies. But the government data showed the average retail price of tomato at Rs 60/kg in Delhi.
Mother Dairy’s Safal vegetable outlets were selling tomato at Rs 78/kg, while e-tailer Grofers at Rs 74-75/kg and Big Basket at up to Rs 60 per kg on Saturday. At Azadpur mandi, Asia’s largest fruits and vegetable wholesale market, tomato prices were ruling at Rs 40-60 per kg, according to trade data.
“Prices are rising on reports of less arrival of new crops from growing regions,” PPA Tomato Association (in Azadpur mandi) Ashok Kaushik told PTI. The tomato crop in South India and Maharashtra is believed to be less this time as farmers have apparently grown in less area due to uncertainty over the price for their produce during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
Experts said farmers had to sell tomato at Rs 1-2/kg during the COVID-19 induced lockdown phase. That apart, the likely damage to the crop and disruption caused due to rains have also affected the supply of fresh crops to the national capital, he added.
Kaushik, however, said the situation is expected to come to normal in the next 15 days. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh are the states with deficit tomato production.
The country produces about 19.73 million tonnes of tomato annually, while the consumption is about 11.51 million tonnes, as per the official data.