The kitchen essential breaches the Rs. 50 mark for the first time
For the first time ever, tomato prices breached the Rs. 50 mark on Saturday. Traders are scrambling to find enough of the vegetable — in stark contrast to the glut situation when farmers routinely dump their harvest on the streets in protest — even as its price has been snaking upwards since the last one week.
Contrast this with the price this time last year when you could get a kg here for around Rs. 20.
While the farmers’ cooperative Hopcoms sold tomato for Rs. 50 a kg on Saturday, it had already reached an eye-watering Rs. 60 in several neighbourhood markets in the old areas of the city. The price was a more reasonable Rs. 40 in the north and eastern areas that are closer to tomato-growing region of Kolar and Hoskote.
“Procuring tomato is a challenge now as the heat wave and lack of water have brought down the crop output drastically. Tomato has never been so expensive,” a Hopcoms source told The Hindu. The official pointed out that its price in Bangalore had reached Rs. 45 some years ago when there was a demand-supply gap. He expected the price to drop from the second week of June.
Other veggies too
It’s not only that tomato is in the news for the price rise: some other vegetables too have witnessed drastic spike over the previous year. Beans is now hovering around Rs. 100, and in some places even Rs. 130 a kg. The price of cucumber, another vegetable in high demand during summer, has doubled compared with last year. Coriander, a must-have, along with carrot, is also climbing upwards.
A Hopcoms source said prices of other vegetables have remained more or less steady in May, a month that usually sees a spike in prices due to summer conditions that are not very conducive for crops. The prevailing high prices benefit farmers to a certain extent, the official said, adding that not all will be benefited though.