Tomato prices soar as arrival declines in Tamil Nadu
The price is expected to go up slightly more as the arrival is expected to reduce further.
CHENNAI: The price of tomatoes in the retail markets across the state has been on the rise for the last three days, crossing Rs 40 for a kilogram on Thursday. The price is expected to go up slightly more as the arrival is expected to reduce further.
Traders in Koyambedu market said the farmers in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu reduced the cultivation of tomatoes as the prices were low for a long time. Along with the reduced cultivation, the traders said, the change in climate also has played its part, leading to a decrease in the supply.
Tomatoes arrive at the Koyambedu market from Madanapalle, Punganur, Kuppam and Kalamnuri, Srinivasapur, Kolar and Chintamani areas in Andhra Pradesh. There is some supply from Rayakottai and Veppanapalli in Krishnagiri district.
“The market usually gets around 70 lorries, each of them having 10 tonnes of tomatoes. This reduced to 45 to 50 lorries leading to an increase in the price. The wholesale rate of tomatoes ranges from Rs 34 to Rs 38 depending on the quality,” said M Thiagarajan, president of Koyambedu Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Sellers’ Welfare Association.
Other traders said the retail price will linger around Rs 40 and there are chances of it coming down if stocks arrive from north India. “This is a seasonal increase in prices. If the price continues to increase, the markets will get supply from northern parts of the country. The yield of tomatoes, which were cultivated when the prices were promising, has reduced now. The procuring price was only Rs 8 -10 last month. This has now come up to Rs 25,” said a tomato farmer from Thalavadi.
Meanwhile, K Karunakaran, a trader at Alangulam market in Tenkasi said the price of tomato was about Rs 15 per kg about 10 days ago. “Due to the hot climate and excessive dew, the yield has reduced from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Farmers in Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts have just started to cultivate tomatoes. Due to the shortage of tomatoes, the supply to Kerala from Tenkasi has also been hit,” he said.
In Coimbatore and Madurai, the price of tomatoes was Rs 35 per kilogram. Vendors at Coimbatore said the prices might go up by another `10 in the coming days. Speaking to TNIE, Madurai Central All Vegetable Sellers Federation president N Chinnamayan said the central market receives tomatoes from Andhra and Karnataka. These states are experiencing heavy rain after days of brutal heat. It leads to the decaying of tomatoes quickly. Two days ago, the price of 15 kg boxes of tomatoes was Rs 120 wholesale. Now, it is sold from Rs 420 to Rs 450. In retail market, tomatoes sold at Rs 30 to Rs 35 per kg, he said.
Among other vegetables, prices of beans, broad beans and ginger were on the higher side selling at Rs 80, Rs 60-Rs 70 and Rs 180 per kg in the wholesale market. The price of cabbage is at Rs 10, cauliflower at Rs 25 and onion at Rs 15.
Sivakumar from the Gandhi Market in Tiruchy said, “Tomato was sold at Rs 10-Rs 15 per kg last week. However, this week it is being sold for Rs 30-Rs 35. Every year, from February to May last week, tomatoes from Tamil Nadu and other states come together due to which prices dip. However, from last week tomatoes from other states alone are available in the market which has led to an increase in the price of tomatoes in the market.”
(With inputs from Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai and Tiruchy)