More tears as tomato prices keep pace with onions

Mumbai, November 22: Soaring prices of tomatoes are adding to the woes of homemakers who are already grappling with the seasonal spurt in price of onions.

Retail prices of the fruit is hovering at around Rs 80 per kg in Mumbai after wholesale prices nearly doubled in the past weeks.

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“Unseasonal rains damaged the crop in Maharashtra and Karnataka because of which arrivals in the wholesale markets have fallen sharply,” says Ashok Bhide, a trader at the Nashik Agricultural Produce Market.

Though tomato prices fall sharply during the year-end, this year’s soaring price coincides with the seasonal rise in prices of onions, another main ingredient in cooking. Onion prices too are ruling in the region of Rs 60-70 per kg in the retail market.

Traders say tomato prices during the same period last year was around Rs 20 per kg wholesale while it was available at Rs 30 per kg in the retail markets.

The supply of tomatoes at the Navi Mumbai agricultural produce market has fallen from 275 tonne per day in October to around 150 tonne. Traders say even the quality of the produce is poor and leads to greater amount of spoilage.

According to traders, the supply of fresh crop of tomatoes will become normal only by the second week of December. Meanwhile, retail stores say they are running out of tomato puree, the preferred alternative to fresh tomatoes.

Sourced from The Tribune