Retail tomato prices are ruling at Rs 80 per kg in most cities across India but the rates have shot up to as high as Rs 120 per kg in few southern states because of widespread rains, according to government data. In Chennai, the retail price of tomatoes was above Rs 100 per kg, while it was Rs 90 per kg in Puducherry, Rs 103 per kg in Bengaluru and Rs 65 per kg in Hyderabad. In Kerala, retail prices of tomato came in 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 Karnataka, retail prices of tomato were at Rs 85 per kg in Dharwad, Rs 84 per kg in Mysuru, Rs 80 a kg in Mangaluru and Rs 78 per kg in Ballari. In Andhra Pradesh, tomato prices were at Rs 91 per kg in Vijayawada, Rs 80 per kg in Visakhapatnam and Rs 75 per kg in Tirupati.
In Tamil Nadu, tomatoes were 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.
However in the national capital, tomato was sold at Rs 72 per kg, according to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry for 167 centres representing all regions of the country. As per the data, retail tomato prices began to rise from the beginning of October and have been ruling at elevated levels in November.
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. There has been a 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.
Read: In Bengaluru, tomato price reaches Rs 100 per kg due to incessant rains
Azadpur Tomato Association President Ashok Kaushik said, "The tomato supply to Delhi from south India has been affected because of the rains. If rains continue in the coming days, the prices in the national capital might rise from the current level." The tomato prices in Azadpur wholesale market fell slightly on Tuesday, November 23, due to arrival of desi variety tomato from neighbouring states of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, he said.
At present, harvesting is underway in key growing states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Tomato crop will be ready for harvest in around two to three 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.