Delhi has been grappling with skyrocketing tomato prices, reaching an alarming ₹259 per kilogram. Wholesale traders are warning that the situation might worsen as prices are likely to surge to ₹300 per kilogram in the coming days. The unprecedented hike in tomato prices is primarily attributed to supply disruptions caused by heavy rainfall in key producing regions.
The heavy monsoon rainfall has severely impacted vegetable supplies, leading to a sharp fall in sales for wholesale traders. Kaushik, a member of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), reported a significant drop in sales of tomatoes, capsicum, and other seasonal vegetables.
“We are facing losses as the sale of tomatoes and other vegetables has fallen drastically,” stated Kaushik, pointing out that tomatoes’ wholesale prices have risen from ₹160 per kilogram to ₹220 per kilogram, potentially affecting retail prices.
Mother Dairy, a prominent retail chain, recently started selling tomatoes at an astonishing ₹259 per kilogram, leaving consumers concerned about their grocery expenses.
The continuous supply disruptions due to heavy rainfall have posed transportation challenges for vegetables, particularly tomatoes, from key producing states like Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Sanjai Bhagat, a wholesaler at Azadpur Mandi, explained that the delays in transportation due to landslides and heavy rain might push tomato prices close to ₹300 per kilogram.
Himachal Pradesh experienced heavy rainfall in July, causing substantial damage to crops, further exacerbating the tomato shortage.
The central government’s efforts to intervene and stabilize prices by selling tomatoes at subsidized rates since July 14 have provided some relief, but the impact has been limited due to short supply.
Anil Malhotra, a member of the Azadpur Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), highlighted the challenges vendors are facing, including late exportation of vegetables and a decline in quality. Customers’ reluctance to buy vegetables like tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower, and cabbage has further complicated the situation for vendors.
As per data from the consumer affairs ministry, the retail price of tomatoes touched ₹203 per kilogram, while Mother Dairy’s Safal retail outlets priced it at ₹259 per kilogram.
The situation at Asia’s largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, Azadpur Mandi, is equally grim, with wholesale prices of tomatoes currently ranging from ₹170 to ₹220 per kilogram, depending on quality.
The increasing uncertainty surrounding tomato prices has raised concerns among consumers and traders alike. The weather-related disruptions continue to affect tomato supplies, leading to rising prices at both wholesale and retail levels. As the situation remains uncertain, consumers brace themselves for the potential impact on their grocery budgets.
Sources By Agencies