NEW DELHI: The onset of monsoon, while relieving the city of the sweltering heat and humidity, seems to have set fire to scores of middle-class kitchens across the national capital. The price of the humble tomatoes, which was within reasonable limits before the rains arrived, have hit north. According to data released by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government, the retail price of tomato in the national capital currently stands at Rs 60 per kg.
However, it was learnt that good quality tomatoes are fetching an even dearer price in some upscale localities in the city. The price, to be precise, is currently at a princely Rs 80 per kg in posh societies, while in some other areas, the going rate for the kitchen staple is anywhere between Rs 50 and Rs 60. Quizzed on the price spiral, a vegetable vendor said fresh supplies of tomatoes are selling at a higher price, while those of a relatively inferior variety are still going at reasonable rates.
“This happens every monsoon. The price of tomatoes tends to vary when the quantum of rain lurches between too much and less. The tomatoes selling in Delhi usually arrive from the NCR. However, as monsoon sets in, we start receiving our supplies from Punjab and Himachal. The current stock has arrived from Himachal,” Anil Aggarwal, member, Azadpur Sabzi Mandi Association, said.
He said excessive rain often wreaks havoc on food crops, resulting in a surge in the prices of vegetables. At the Azadpur mandi, which is considered the city’s largest wholesale market, tomatoes are currently priced between Rs 20 and Rs 25 per kg.
“Even last week, the wholesale price of tomatoes was between Rs 10 and Rs 12 per kg. However, the rates have surged with the coming of monsoon. I expect the rate to drop down to somewhere around Rs 15 per kg once monsoon retreats. Now, it is up to the vendors to decide what price he wants to sell tomatoes at. If he’s facing a loss, he’s bound to sell them at higher rates. Also, areas matter. In areas such as Greater Kailash, Khan Market and INA, vegetables are any day priced higher than other parts of the city,” he said. Post-July, fresh supplies of tomatoes will arrive from Nashik in Maharashtra, and, later, from Ratlam in MP.