Tomato hits Rs 100/kg on reduced supply, potato at Rs 25/kg

Tomato hits Rs 100/kg on reduced supply, potato at Rs 25/kg

Dilip Kumar Jha

At Rs 100 a kg in retail markets in the western suburb of Mumbai, tomato has steadily moved beyond reach of the common man. Potato price has also jumped abnormally by 34 per cent over the last one month on supply disruptions.Used as a food additive with vegetables to enhance flavour and taste along with a host of other health benefits, tomato is a preferred choice of every kitchen. Tomato has proved its use in various raw and processed forms for direct and indirect consumptions.

Tomato price has more than doubled in the last one month on supply deficit. In the wholesale Bangaluru market, tomato was quoted at Rs 29 a kg nearly a month ago shot up to trade currently at Rs 75 a kg on Tuesday. In Delhi mandi, tomato price moved up to Rs 27 a kg on Tuesday from Rs 10 a kg mid-May.

"Prices of both potato and tomato are hitting the roof on reduced supply from major regions. Scorching heat between February and May damaged tomato flowers heavily. Consequently, tomato yield has declined to just 20 per cent of the normal. Since the new season crop is set to hit the market in over two months, consumers would have to bear with high prices of vegetables including tomato and potato by then. Tomato price may hit Rs 150 a kg in retail in the next few weeks," said Shri Ram Gadhave, President of Pune-based Vegetables Grower Association of India.

Meanwhile, the Union Food minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Wednesday that the vegetable price rise is temporary. Gadhave, however, estimates vegetable price rise to continue for at least four to six weeks.

The best quality of tomato is quoted at Rs 50 a kg in the benchmark wholesale Vashi Agricultural Processed Markets Committee (APMC). Apart from tomato, potato has also surged by upto 35 per cent to trade currently at Rs 19 a kg in Delhi's wholesale market. Interestingly, both vegetables face acute shortage of availability with their arrivals declined sharply on wholesale markets due to crop damage in flowering season and massive spoilage in storages.

In retail, potato is sold at Rs 25 a kg now from the level of Rs 18-20 a kg earlier witnessing thereby an increase of around 33 per cent in a fortnight.

"There has been a sharp decline in their arrivals in wholesale mandis. Major vegetable growing regions in Maharashtra faced acute shortage of water availability over the last two years. Deficient monsoon rainfalls hit productivity in other states as well. So, supply has started gradually becoming scarce," said a senior APMC official at Vashi.

Data compiled by APMC Vashi showed total arrival of tomato at 30 tonnes on June 15 as compared to 33 tonnes early this month or nearly 40 tonnes about a month ago. Faced with supply shortage, the government of Maharashtra has stopped tomato transportation to other states. Arrivals from northern states including Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have also dried up due to non-availability of stocks.

Data compiled by the government owned National Horticulture Board (NHB) estimated India's tomato output at 18.16 million tonnes (0.75 million ha of acreage) in its second advanced estimates for 2015-16 compared to 16.38 million tonnes (077 million tonnes of acreage) in the previous year.

Potato output is also estimated at 45.59 million tonnes (2.06 million ha) for 2015-16 as against 48 million tonnes (2.07 million ha) in 2014-15.

Tomato hits Rs 100/kg on reduced supply, potato at Rs 25/kg Tomato hits Rs 100/kg on reduced supply, potato at Rs 25/kg Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 7:27 PM Rating: 5

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