Navi Mumbai: The tomato prices are unlikely to come down soon as there has been no fresh sowing due to rain furry in several parts of the country. Traders at the wholesale market in Vashi say that the arrival of tomatoes is low and poor in quality. For the last one-and-a-half months, prices of tomatoes have been commanding over Rs100 per kg. In fact, it has reached around Rs200 per kg.
Mumbai's tomato supply sources
“Mumbai receives most of the tomatoes from Nasik, Pune, Kolhapur, Sangli and other places in western Maharashtra. In addition, it also receives tomatoes from other states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh which are major tomato-producing states in the country. However, for the last month, due to rainfall, there has been hardly any sowing in these states,” said a trader from APMC Vashi.
He added that due to heavy rains, crops have been damaged and thus the supply of tomatoes has come down sharply. “The quality of tomatoes arriving at the market is also poor. Their shelf life is low and thus the price of tomatoes continues to soar,” said traders.
At present, the average buying price of tomatoes at the APMC Vashi is Rs95-110 per kg. Since the quality is low with low shelf life, the retail price is hovering around Rs200 per kg. “As no new crops will be available in the next one month, the price is likely to rise during August and September,” said Pritam Shah, a trader at the Vegetable Market in Vashi APMC. However, he added that this is unlikely to cross Rs 300 per kg as forecast in the northern parts of the country.
Why prices rise?
During April-May, the price of tomatoes crashed and farmers suffered huge losses. A number of videos emerged showing farmers from Nasik, and Pune in Maharashtra dumping their harvested tomatoes. They were offered ₹30 for a crate of 20 kg. it means that they could not recover even the transportation costs. A similar situation was seen in other parts of the country due to bumper crops of tomatoes. Finally, farmers stayed away from tomato farming and in fact, there are reports that Kharif sowing is less than 50 percent than the previous year. It means that there will be no respite in tomato prices in days to come.