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.