CHITTOOR: The wholesale price of tomatoes shot up to a record Rs 130 per kilogram in the Madanapalle market --Asia’s largest -- on Tuesday, up from Rs 60 a week ago.The more than 110% week-on-week increase has been attributed to the torrential rains in and around Madanapalle, which led to a shortfall of the vegetable.
Only 150 metric tonnes of the produce reached the market on Tuesday, much lesser than the required 300-450 metric tonnes.The price of high quality tomato was Rs 76 per kilo on November 16 and it increased to Rs 92 on November 20, and it further shot up to Rs 104 on November 22, before touching Rs 130 on Tuesday, market officials said.
With the wholesale price of the produce crossing Rs 100 per kilo, tomato, a common ingredient in every household, has been retailing at Rs 150 per kilo.“Tomato cultivation in the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are also hit,’’ officials said, adding that the demand for tomato increased due to people shunning non-vegetarian food during the holy month of Karthika. The marriage season, too, fuelled the demand.
The market has been sending the majority of the produce to Madurai, Chennai city, Kumbakonam, Villupuram in Tamil Nadu and also to Puducherry, Telangana, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, and Karnataka.
“The price was Rs 98 per kilo in November 2016. It has now rose to Rs 130, a record in the market’s history,’’ wholesale dealer N Sudheer said. Usually, traders from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka visited wholesale markets in Palamaner, Madanapalle and Punganur to purchase tomatoes during this season. But traders from TN have been purchasing majority of the stocks here over the past few days.
“Tomato cultivation in parts of Chittoor, too, have been submerged and the situation will prevail for the next couple of days,’’ K Rammurthy, a farmer, said. Meanwhile, tomatoes were retailing at Rs 85 to Rs 90 a kg in Kakinada, while Rythu Bazaars were selling it for Rs 75. Rythu Bazaar estate officer R Srinivas Rao said the bazaar has been procuring the vegetable from Chittoor district, Pithapuram and Gollaprolu.