Unfavourable weather conditions, including heavy rains in certain growing regions and above-average temperatures last month, have significantly impacted tomato production, leading to a fivefold price increase this year. While tomatoes typically become expensive during the lean production months of June and July, this year's impact has been particularly pronounced.
Many attributed the sharp rise in vegetable prices to the prevailing heatwave in key tomato-growing areas and heavy rains, leading to a disruption in supply chains.
Tomatoes also have a relatively lower shelf life, which is also believed to have a bearing on their prices.
Actor-hotelier Suniel Shetty also seems to be affected by the surge in tomato prices. In an interview, the actor said, “My wife Mana only buys vegetables for one or two days, we believe in eating fresh produce. The prices for tomatoes are skyrocketing these days, and this has affected our kitchen as well. I eat fewer tomatoes these days. People might think that since I’m a superstar, these things wouldn’t affect me. But that isn’t true, we have to deal with such issues as well."
“If you look at the prices on these apps, you’ll be shocked. They’re cheaper than all shops and markets. I order from the app, but not because it’s cheaper, but because they sell fresh produce. They even tell you where the vegetables were grown, and farmers get direct benefits," he added.
Suniel also stated that being a hotelier he also bargains for the produce he purchases. Apart from that, he also grows his own vegetables at his Khandala farmhouse.
As per the ministry's data, the average all-India retail price of tomato was Rs 111.71 per kg on Wednesday. The maximum increase in retail price was Rs 203 per kg in Bathinda, Punjab while the minimum rate was Rs 34 per kg in Bidar in Karnataka. Among the metros, the retail price of tomato was quoted highest in Delhi at Rs 150 per kg, followed by Mumbai at Rs 137 per kg, Kolkata at Rs 137 per kg, and Chennai at Rs 123 per kg on Wednesday.