New Delhi: Tomato prices in wholesale markets in most producing states have crashed to as low as Rs 4 per kg amid supply glut, government data showed.
In fact, the wholesale prices of tomato in 23 growing centres out of 31 monitored by the government were down by 50 per cent from the year-ago period or below three-year seasonal average.
Currently, tomato crop of the early kharif (summer) season of the 2021-22 crop year (July-June) is being harvested.
According to the data, the wholesale price of tomato in Dewas in Madhya Pradesh — the countrys’ top tomato growing state — fell to Rs 8 per kg on August 28 of this year from Rs 11 per kg in the year-ago period.
Similarly, the wholesale price of tomato at Jalgoan in Maharashtra — the country’s sixth largest tomato growing state — fell by 80 per cent to Rs 4 per kg on August 28 from Rs 21 per kg in the year-ago period.
Tomato prices at Aurangabad declined to Rs 4.50 per kg from Rs 9.50 per kg, while that of Solapur to Rs 5 per kg from 15 per kg and in Kolhapur to Rs 6.50 per kg from 25 per kg in the year-ago period.
“Prices have come under pressure in key growing states because of the supply glut. The tomato crop has been good owing to favourable weather,” National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) Acting Director P K Gupta told PTI.
The tomato production from summer (early Kharif) season is estimated to be better than last year and farmers can be saved from falling prices if food processing companies come to their rescue, he said.
No doubt, the favourable weather has helped boost the crop production, but farmers’ tendency to grow the crop the price of which was ruling higher at the time of sowing — has added to higher production, he added.
When production is higher, prices come under pressure,” Gupta said.
According to the government data, wholesale price of tomato at Kolar in Karnataka — the country’s fourth largest tomato growing state — dropped to 5.30 per kg on August 28 from Rs 18.70 per kg in the year-ago period, while that of in Chickkaballapura fell to Rs 7.30 per kg from 18.50 per kg in the said period.
Similarly in Andhra Pradesh, the country’s second largest tomato growing state, the wholesale price at Palamaner in Chitoor district fell to Rs 18.50 per kg from Rs 40 per kg.
Palamaner and two more cities Madanpalle and Mulakalacheruvu in Chitoor district saw prices falling sharply from the year-ago period. And these three centres are identified as clusters for development under the government’s ‘Operation Green’ programme.
In Uttar Pradesh too, prices fell in the range of Rs 8-20 per kg on August 28 this year from Rs 14-28 per kg in the year-ago period.
In West Bengal, wholesale price of tomato declined to Rs 25-32 per kg in different growing areas from Rs 34-65 per kg in the said period, the data showed.
In consuming markets too, wholesale prices of tomatoes showed a decline.
In Delhi’s Azadpur mandi, wholesale price of tomato declined to 24 per kg on August 28 from Rs 36 per kg in the year-ago period.
Wholesale price of tomato in Mumbai declined to Rs 12 per kg from Rs 30 per kg, while that of in Bengaluru to Rs 8 per kg from Rs 30 per kg in the said period.
Tomato crop is ready for harvest in about 2-3 months after planting.
India’s tomato production rose by 2.20 per cent to 21 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June) as against 20.55 million tonnes in the year-ago period, as per the Agriculture Ministry’s second advance estimate. PTI