Aam Aadmi Party MP Raghav Chadha on Saturday took a jibe at the Centre over the rising prices of tomatoes.
Taking the price rise issue on Twitter, Chadha said,” “Even McDonald's can't afford tomatoes anymore. Be it in our homes or restaurants, with inflation spiraling out of control, the government has turned happy meals into sad meals.” The AAP leader also attached a notice issued by McDonald’s skipping tomatoes from their menu.
As per reports, the retail prices of tomatoes touched ₹120 per kilogram in the national capital on Thursday. At the beginning of the year, it was ₹22 kg.
Supply shortages and concerns about the vegetable's quality
With the rising price of tomatoes in India, many McDonald's restaurants in the country have removed tomatoes from their burgers and wraps due to supply shortages and concerns about the vegetable's quality.
The fast-food titan has dropped the fruit from their menu citing a "temporary" seasonal issue. McDonald's India, North and East, said it is constrained to "hold tomatoes for the time being" and is trying to resolve this issue by employing sustainable agriculture practices.
"Due to seasonal crop issues arising out of farm fields in a few regions, there are not enough quantities meeting our quality specifications available. To ensure our customers get the best quality we are known to serve, we are constrained to hold tomatoes for the time being," an official statement said.
Unfavorable weather conditions
Unfavorable 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, the impact this year has been particularly pronounced.
Many attributed the sharp rise in vegetable prices to the prevailing heatwave in key tomato-growing areas, as well as heavy rains, leading to a disruption in supply chains.
Tomatoes also have a relatively lower shelf life, which is also believed to be having a bearing on their prices.
A customer, Gaurav, told news agency ANI, "I think because of the high price of tomatoes, McDonald's is not using tomatoes." Another customer Pooja Gupta said, "Tomato prices are skyrocketing. If they use tomatoes in their food, the cost might increase."
(With inputs from ANI)