tomato traders association: Tomato prices surge as rains damage crop

Kolkata: After a brief relief in July, Indian households are again witnessing a surge in tomato prices. Prices of tomato, a staple vegetable in the Indian kitchen, has shot up almost 50% since the second week of August as excessive rains have damaged the crop in Shimla, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Prices hovering around ₹40 per kg in the retail market have suddenly jumped to ₹60 per kg.

“Tomato supply to Azadpur mandi has dwindled as rains have damaged the crop. At the wholesale level, prices have appreciated from ₹20 per kg to ₹28 per kg. Prices will remain firm for some time now, till the new crop comes,” said Ashok Kaushik, president, Tomato Traders Association, Asia’s largest Mandi in Azadpur said In FY22, India had produced 20 million metric tonnes of tomato.

Shriram Gadhave, president of Vegetable Growers Association of India, said, “It is difficult to say when tomato prices would come down. The farmers are planting new seeds. But if it rains, then it will again impact prices. Moreover, the yield of tomato is getting impacted due to heavy downpour in the tomato growing regions of the country.” Gadhave said although the prices in the retail market have not come down yet, farmers are not getting remunerative prices. The incessant rains and moisture content have also led to damage to their yield.

Farmers said due to the changing climate, yield has come down from 2,000 tonne per day to 500, as continuous drizzle and occasional downpour wreak havoc on the tomato crop.

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