Bengaluru: Short supply, high demand push tomato price skyward

Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SP)

Bengaluru, Jan 11: It may be recalled that farmers who had reaped a rich harvest of tomato had poured the product on the road as a mark of protest some days back, having been enraged at the ridiculously low price their crop commanded in the market. Now tomato is in high demand but the vegetable is in short supply.

During the last some months, tomato had never commanded a price of over Rs 20 per kilogram. The shortage in inflow of tomatoes has been witnessed since the last some days. It is said that the city, which used to get 200 loads of tomato per day till a week back, is getting not more than 30 to 40 loads now. As such, price of tomato, an essential ingredient in most kinds of south Indian preparations, has steeply gone up.

Wholesale price of tomato stands at Rs 50 to 60 per kilogram while the retailers charge Rs 70. The current indication is that this situation may persist for a couple of weeks at least.

Tomato production falls during the winter. This crop accounts for 45 percent of production during Khariff season, 35 percent in rabi season, and ten percent during summer. Tomato price had nosedived during this month last year. The farmers are confused as they cannot judge whether the crops grown by them would fetch them justifiable price. Therefore, they are turning towards alternative crops. Possibly this is one of the reasons for the dramatic rise in the price of tomato, feels chief scientist of Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, T M Gajanana.

However, rise in the price of tomato has brought smiles on the faces of farmers from Kolar who have grown tomato during this season. Tomato price in coastal Karnataka now stands at around Rs 45 per kg, up from Rs 20 a week back.