April 22, 2024

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Rising tomato prices leave consumers in a pretty pickle

If it was the tomato growers who bore the brunt of Covid lockdown in late March-April experiencing troubles in harvesting and marketing and advertising their produce, it is now the flip of individuals.

Charges of tomatoes have risen sharply to in excess of ₹50 a kg, as versus ₹20-thirty a few of weeks ago, in consuming centres as provides have shrunk from the vital developing locations — largely Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and pieces of Maharashtra.

In Kolar, the largest tomato supplying region in the region now, modal prices have tripled in excess of the past one particular thirty day period.

“Consumers should really thank their stars that the hotels and places to eat are not running now. Otherwise, the prices would have strike ₹100 a kg previously,” mentioned Ashok Kaushik, President of Tomato Association, Azadpur Mandi in Delhi.

Acreage down

Horticulture pro SV Hittalamani, who performs with growers in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts of Karnataka, mentioned the prices are observed headed towards the ₹100-per-kg mark in excess of the next several weeks.

“The spot is down by 50 {744e41c82c0a3fcc278dda80181a967fddc35ccb056a7a316bb3300c6fc50654} as the farmers lacked the self esteem in marketing and advertising their produce contemplating the uncertainty in excess of Covid and did not acquire up the summer season planting. Also, the steady rains in excess of the past few of weeks is observed hurting the development of the crop and impacting the high quality. With a bullish pattern in prices, a segment of farmers could revert to tomato planting in the days in advance,” he mentioned.

Tomato, a kitchen area staple, is developed in the course of the calendar year. The 100-one hundred forty working day crop is developed on about seven.seventy eight lakh hectares and the production, according to 3rd Advance Estimates for 2018-19, was pegged at 19.39 million tonnes, according to Agriculture Ministry.

“The upcountry desire is excellent. Also there are exports taking place to Bangladesh, which is trying to keep the prices agency. If the lockdown had been fully cleared, prices would have shot up further — say up to ₹800-1,000 per 15-kg crate as versus the recent ₹500,” a trader in Kolar mentioned. Charges in the course of lockdown had crashed to as reduced as ₹50 per crate.

For Puttaraju, a farmer in Chikkaballapur, the risk taken to plant tomato on a very little in excess of an acre in the course of the early section of lockdown in April has paid off.

But remember, in the course of the lockdown prices had crashed to as reduced as ₹50-70 per box, which drove away a lot of farmers from having correct treatment of their standing crop and also fresh new planting as the cultivation expenditures function out to ₹1-1.five lakh per acre, he provides.

Export desire

In Maharashtra, the virus assault on the crop a several months ago, even now lurks in the minds of the farmers all-around the Nashik region.

Suresh Navale, a farmer in Akole taluk of Ahmednagar district, mentioned farmers confronted major losses thanks to virus attacks in May on the crop. Due to the fact there was an air of uncertainty all-around tomatoes, they shifted their cultivation to soyabean.

Trader Sunil Pundesaid prices have zoomed to ₹400 per crate (20-kg dimension) from ₹40-sixty thanks to the scarcity. Elements these types of as opening up of the nearby economic climate immediately after lockdown and farmers’ unwillingness to plant tomatoes thanks to virus assault have led to offer scarcity.

In Delhi’s Azadpur mandi, arrivals have nearly halved. “Normally, we get all-around 50 vehicles (each individual weighing ten tonnes) every day. But at present, we get only 20-twenty five vehicles a working day,” mentioned MR Kriplani, President of Azadpur Fruit and Veggies Retailers Association.

Gasoline prices

Ashok Kaushik mentioned there is a common harm to tomato crops in UP, Haryana and Rajasthan. “Apart from farmers destroying their own crop, premature rains as well performed spoilsport. At the moment, tomatoes are coming from Himachal as effectively as from south India. Even in these marketplaces, the prices are hovering all-around ₹40 a kg. With diesel prices heading up, it is not attainable to get the produce at a much less expensive level than this.”

In addition, the Delhi government’s insistence on vehicles that are heading to get produce from somewhere else having a token also marred the provides. “Trucks had to wait for five-six hrs for having the token. This dissuaded a lot of vehicles from running major to small offer of tomatoes in the market,” Kaushik added.

With inputs from Tv set Jayan in New Delhi and Rahul Wadke in Mumbai