Other States

Now tomato rates reach a new high

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After pulses, cost of poultry items such as chicken has risen by at least Rs.20 in just 15 days

Not only pulses, but prices of vegetables and poultry items have also sky-rocketed this month.

Even as onion prices continue to remain low owing to surplus production, rates of another kitchen essential, tomato, have hit an all time high with some retailers selling it for Rs.80 per kg in the Capital.

The cost of chicken has also increased by at least Rs.20 in just about 15 days.

Rain check

Until last month, tomatoes were available for Rs.14 per kg at the Azadpur wholesale market, which has now climbed up to Rs.40 per kg.

In the retail market, the item is being sold anywhere between Rs. 50 and Rs. 80, depending on the quality.

According to Ashok Kaushik, President of Azadpur Tomato Merchant’s Association, the primary reason is ‘rain’.

“Unseasonal rains over one-and-a-half-month ago, followed by extreme hot weather conditions, had spoilt some of the produce.

“Now, when stocks are clearing out and farmers have to grow fresh crops, there is rain. The demand is much more compared to the supply,” he said.

Delhi gets tomatoes from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

With supplies thinning from other States, the Capital is currently procuring all its tomatoes from Himachal Pradesh, primarily from Solan district.

Unlike potato and onion, there is short shelf-life of tomato. The absence of adequate cold storage facilities in the supply chain has aggravated the problem.

Vegetable prices

It is not just tomatoes, rates of almost every other vegetable including potatoes have also spiked considerably.

In just a month’s time, wholesale cost of potatoes has shot up by Rs.5, bottle gourd by Rs.15 and cauliflower by Rs.7, to name a few. However, in a high-level meeting convened by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday for containing the surge in prices of food items, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that the rise in tomato and potato prices was “seasonal”.

In pulses, tur or arhar daal (split red gram) and chana daal (split Bengal gram) have witnessed the highest surge in prices with an increase of over Rs. 10-15 in the wholesale market.

“Cost wise arhar daal is the most expensive. In wholesale market, it is being sold at an average of Rs.130 per kg and in retail it’s between Rs 160 and Rs. 200.

High demand

“Chana daal is always high in demand because it is used for making flour too. But, following two successive droughts, the demand-supply gap is now widening,” said Sanjay Singhal, former general secretary of Delhi Grain Merchants Association and a pulse trader in Chandni Chowk’s Naya Bazar market.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Wednesday flagged off mobile vans for selling pulses at reasonable prices in the Capital.

These mobile vans run by the National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India will sell pulses mainly tur and urad at Rs. 120 per kg in various parts of Delhi. Outlets of Kendriya Bhandar and Safal are already selling pulses in Delhi and the NCR at these rates.



In just a month, wholesale cost of potatoes has shot up by Rs.5 and bottle gourd by Rs.15



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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:02:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Now-tomato-rates-reach-a-new-high/article14427168.ece

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