CHENNAI: A day after the price of tomato touched Rs 100 per kg in the Chennai retail market, the Tamil Nadu government on Friday said the fruit will be sold through 65 farm fresh vegetable (Pannai Pasumai) shops across the State for Rs 70-85 per kg. It will also be sold at ration shops in the future depending on the demand, officials said, as prices are expected to rise.
According to officials from the cooperatives department, tomatoes will be procured from local farmers to be sold through the Pannai Pasumai shops. The retail price of tomato has skyrocketed to Rs 90 to Rs 120 a kg in various parts of TN on the back of a supply shortage caused by rains in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The procurement price of the Agricultural Producing Marketing Committee (APMC) in Mysore was Rs 70 per kg on Friday and could cross Rs 100 soon, said sources.
On Thursday, four tonnes of tomatoes were sold at the shops in Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy alone. Kannaiyan Subramanian, a tomato farmer in Thalavadi, said farmers in TN opted against growing tomatoes after first-grade tomatoes were procured for Rs 4 per kg in March and April. “Peak summer is also an off-season for tomato cultivation in TN,” he added.
“The fruit is only grown in a few areas like Rayakottai, Hosur, Krishnagiri and Thalavadi in Erode. As a result TN largely depends on supplies from Andhra and Karnataka in summer. The prices will only increase once standing crops are harvested,” said Subramanian.
The State government offered the fruit for sale through the Pannai Pasumai shops from November 27 to December 30 in 2021 when the retail price hit Rs 150 per kg. At the time, around 150 tonnes of tomatoes and 1,110 of other vegetables were procured for Rs 4 crore and sold through the farm fresh vegetable shops. In a good season, farmers can harvest tomatoes up to 90 days.