Tomato prices in retail markets of metro cities have shot up to ₹72 per kilogram on a tight supply due to unseasonal rains in key producing states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
Among the metros, the maximum increase in the retail price of tomato was seen in Kolkata where the key kitchen vegetable was ruling as high as ₹72 per kg on October 12 when compared to ₹38 per kg during the month-ago period.
In Delhi and Chennai, retail prices of tomato increased to ₹57 per kg from ₹30 per kg and ₹20 per kg, respectively, compared to the month-ago period, according to data compiled by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.
In Mumbai, tomato prices in retail markets rose to ₹53 per kg from ₹15 per kg in the said period, the data showed.
The retail prices of tomato vary depending on quality and locality where the commodity was sold.
"Unseasonal rains in producing states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have damaged the crop due to which the supply to consuming markets like Delhi has been affected. This has led to a rise in prices, both in wholesale and retail markets," Azadpur Tomato Association President Ashok Kaushik told the PTI on Wednesday.
Azadpur Mandi in the national capital is the Asia's largest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables.
Even the crop in hilly regions like Shimla has been affected due to the unseasonal rains, he said, adding that 60 per cent of the tomato crop has been damaged in producing states that received unseasonal rains.
As a result, tomato prices in a month have almost doubled to ₹40-60 per kg at Azadpur Mandi as daily arrival of the commodity has halved to 250-300 tonnes, he added.
At present, harvesting is underway in key growing states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Tomato crop will be ready for harvest in around 2-3 months after planting and harvesting is done as per the requirement of the market.
India, the world's second largest tomato producer after China, produces around 19.75 million tonnes from an area of 7.89 lakh hectares with an average yield of 25.05 tonnes per hectare, according to the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation.