Prices of tomatoes have skyrocketed upwards of Rs 100 per kg in many areas in Tamil Nadu, including Chennai.

A vendor sorts tomatoes at Bhuntar vegetable marketPTI
Money Price rise Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 10:56

With the prices of tomatoes crossing Rs 100 per kg in various parts of the state including Chennai, the Tamil Nadu government has decided to procure 15 metric tonnes (MT) of tomatoes from cooperatives and sell it to consumers in the market within the range of Rs 85-100, as compared to Rs 110-130 as sold in the open market. Co-operatives Minister I Periyasamy said that steps will be taken to sell all vegetables at a lower rate to ease the burden on consumers as prices of vegetables, especially tomatoes, have increased.

In Chennai, the retail price of tomato was at Rs 100 per kg, Puducherry Rs 90 per kg, Bengaluru Rs 88 per kg and Hyderabad Rs 65 per kg. In Tamil Nadu, tomatoes are selling at Rs 119 per kg in Ramanathapuram, Rs 103 per kg in Tirunelveli, Rs 97 per kg in Tiruchirapalli, Rs 94 per kg in Cuddalore and Rs 90 per kg in Coimbatore.

According to a release by the Tamil Nadu government, the Triplicane Urban Cooperative Society (TUCS) has agreed to sell vegetables at a lower cost than the open market. The Tamil Nadu government will procure vegetables from co-operative societies through 65 Farm Green Consumer Vegetable Shops in Chennai, Coimbatore, Tuticorin, Madurai, Thiruvannamalai, Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli, Tiruppur, Salem, Erode, Vellore, the statement said. 

Read: Tomato prices over Rs 100 in Chennai, Bengaluru and other southern cities

The Co-operatives Minister said that the supply of vegetables in Tamil Nadu has been drastically hit due to the northeast monsoon rains. The statement further said that, as per the guidelines laid down by Chief Minister MK Stalin as a measure to control the rise in prices of all vegetables due to rising prices, the TUCS has decided to sell vegetables for daily consumption at lower prices than the open market. 

Read: Yellow warning for Chennai, parts of TN to witness heavy rainfall: IMD

Not just in Tamil Nadu, there has been sharp rise in retail tomato prices in major cities of south India due to widespread moderate to heavy rainfalls during the northeast monsoon since the first week of November due to frequent formations of low-pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal, or cyclonic circulation in the Arabian Sea. As a result, the tomato crop has been damaged causing a tight supply situation.

In Karnataka, retail prices of tomato are ruling at Rs 85 per kg in Dharwad, Rs 84 per kg in Mysuru, Rs 80 a kg in Mangalore and Rs 78 per kg in Bellary.

In Kerala, retail prices of tomato are ruling at Rs 120 per kg in Kottayam, Rs 110 per kg in Ernakulam, Rs 103 per kg in Thiruvananthapuram, Rs 100 per kg in Palakkad, Rs 97 per kg in Thrissur, and Rs 90 per kg in Wayanad and Kozhikode.

In Andhra Pradesh, tomato prices are ruling at Rs 91 per kg in Vijayawada, Rs 80 per kg in Visakhapatnam and Rs 75 per kg in Tirupati.

All India modal retail price of tomato stood at Rs 40 per kg on October 1 and shot up to Rs 50 per kg by end of the month. The prices further rose to Rs 80 per kg on November 23.

At present, harvesting is underway in key growing states including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Tomato crops are generally ready for harvest around 2-3 months after planting, and harvesting is done as per the requirement of the market.

India, the world's second largest tomato producer after China, produces around 19.75 million tonnes from an area of 7.89 lakh hectares with an average yield of 25.05 tonnes per hectare, according to National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation.

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With PTI inputs

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