Prices of small onion and tomatoes among other vegetables at the farmers’ market here had fallen by at least 30 to 50 per cent, compared to last month, officials said on Monday.

Onions and tomatoes topped the list as they were selling at half the price on Monday, thus bringing cheers among consumers at farmers’ markets in Chokkikulam and Anna Nagar here.

The price of onion was selling around Rs.38 and Rs.40 (Rs.68 to Rs.75 last month), while tomatoes were available at Rs.16 and Rs.18 per kilo (Rs.40 and Rs.50 last month), said K. Arumugam, agriculture officer at Chokkikulam market.

Though there were many factors for the fall in prices, the officials said that normally the supply would rise in December as a majority of farmers would have harvested during this period.

“Of course, the demand or consumption for vegetables would also be equally high due to the Sabarimala season among other reasons,” farmers said.

However, the prices of small onions continued to be sold at Rs.60 in private chain stores at KK Nagar, Anna Nagar and Chokkikulam, residents said.

Change in crop pattern

Agriculture department officials said that many farmers who were growing paddy had switched over to cultivating vegetables as they required very little water for irrigation.

Unlike paddy crop, vegetables may not need much water, they added.

Traditionally pockets in Melur, Alanganallur, parts of Vadipatti and beyond, where paddy was the crop grown from time immemorial, had slowly turned into favourites for growing vegetables, officials said and added that the prices of vegetables, especially tomatoes, would continue to fall till January-end.

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