JEYPORE: Tomato, a kitchen staple, is making its way out of the local diet as majority of traders in the district have reportedly stopped importing the vegetable from neighbouring states owing to its soaring price.
With its current price hovering around a record Rs 100 a kg, majority of the lower and middle class sections are opting not to buy tomatoes. With a few takers, vegetable vendors too are reluctant to get the supply from outside.
Local production from Semiliguda, Nandapur, Lamataput, Pottangi and Koraput blocks has also been hit due to high temperature this year.
This has resulted in limited stock of tomatoes with only up to three-five quintal (against the usual 60-70 quintal) available daily in the local markets of Jeypore, Koraput, Sunabeda, Kotpad and Borigumma since last week.
Earlier, traders were importing tomatoes from neighbouring Raipur and Bengaluru to meet the local demands as the vegetable was priced within Rs 40 per kg in these states. But as the price started soaring and reached Rs 60-Rs 70 a kg last week, they stopped procuring.
Sources said, on normal days, around 70 vegetable traders sell over 60 quintal tomato in Jeypore market but only a handful of them are selling four to five quintal now.
“Ten days back, every vegetable vendor was selling tomato with maximum Rs 50 a kg. But with rate touching Rs 100, it is difficult to buy and sell the vegetable. It seems sale will start only after new production,” said Bulu Gouda, a vegetable trader of Jeypore market.
The situation is similar in other major markets of Koraput, Semiliguda, Sunabeda, Kotpad and Borigumma areas of the district.