Why Are Tomatoes Turning Red Hot In India's Market?

Indian consumers are feeling the heat as the price of tomatoes skyrockets due to a severe shortage. Retail prices have surged to ₹80-120 per kg, while wholesale prices have risen to ₹65-70 per kg, The Economic Times reports.

Why the Sudden Price Hike?

The steep increase in prices is attributed to high temperatures, low production, and delayed rainfall across the country. This sudden surge, from ₹3-5 per kg in May, exacerbates the inflation concerns of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which is tasked with keeping inflation in check.

Supply Chain Disruptions

“Tomato prices have doubled in the last two days. Supply from neighbouring states like Haryana and Uttar Pradesh has reduced. We are now getting tomatoes from Bangalore,” said Ashok Ganor, a tomato trader from Delhi’s Azadpur wholesale market.

Impact on Farmers

Low prices earlier in the year led many farmers to abandon their fields, resulting in poor production. “Farmers did not spray pesticides or use fertilisers as the rates were not remunerative. This led to increased incidence of pest and disease and fall in production,” said Ajay Belhekar, a farmer from the Narayangaon belt of tomatoes from Maharashtra.

Future Predictions

However, the high prices may not persist. “They can come down as harvest from many new pockets will begin soon. But if it rains heavily in Himachal Pradesh and other growing areas, then prices may remain firm,” Ganor added.

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