Tomato prices see sudden rise, growers are loving it
MYSURU: Tomato prices have shot up over four-fold in retail markets in the last 10 days. The vegetable which was sold at Rs 10 a kg during the second week of April now costs Rs 40-45. Traders feel that the prices may go up further during late summer.
At wholesale markets, the prices of a 24-kg box of tomatoes firmed up from Rs 500 a week ago to the current Rs 750 levels, recording a 50 per cent jump in seven days. The sharp surge in the prices are attributed to short supply caused by water scarcity and the rising temperature levels and the firm demand in Kerala, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
Growers had burnt had their fingers with the crash in the prices last year because of the good yield following reasonable rains and availability of underground water in Chamarajnagar, Kolar, Bengaluru Rural, Chikballapur and Mandya districts.
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As ground water became scarcer this year due to deficit rains, the farmers who judiciously used available water with modern drip or sprinkler irrigation methods have managed to save their crops and hit the jackpot.
Mahesh, a farmer from Chamarajnagar, said he has grown tomatoes in seven acres investing Rs 4.2 lakh on pesticides and labour to get a bumper harvest.
“I wish the prices would be stable so that the farmers will not suffer huge losses. I am happy that tomato has touched Rs 700 a box after a gap of more than a year”, he added.
It is not just tomatoes. The prices of other vegetable prices have also gone northward in the last few months.
Beans and carrots which cost Rs 12 a kg in January are now sold at Rs 80, while the prices of cauliflower has gone up from Rs 8 a piece to Rs 30 during the same period. The prices of chilli have shown a similar trend jumping from Rs 22 a kg to Rs 60. Shekar, who runs a vegetables shop in the city, said ladies finger, brinjal, beetroot and radish are sold around Rs 30 a kg.
“It has become difficult to save crops during summer in many parts of Karnataka and also in neighbouring states. This has helped farmers who struggled to save the crops reap good prices”, said Guruswamy, a farmer in Kadakola.
Meanwhile, Shaji, a vegetable trader from Kozhikode, said vegetables could become dearer in Kerala which depends on Mysuru and Bengaluru markets for the supply.
“When tomato is sold at Rs 35-45 a kg in Mysuru, how much should we sell them at in Kerala with transportation and labour costs adding on?” he said.
He said many people from Tamil Nadu have started buying vegetables from Mysuru to meet the demand in Comibatore, Salem and other places.
“I have never seen the prices of cabbage and cauliflower touching Rs 30 a kg during summer in the past as there was a sufficient supply from Ooty and Erode in Tamil Nadu”, said Shaji.