Tomato prices soar from Rs 20 to Rs 90 per kg: This commodity is on fire, know why

Tomato is an essential commodity, and its prices have skyrocketed over the past few week. (Reuters)

As per the data by Department of Consumer Affairs, tomato retail prices of have risen from about Rs 20 per kg to Rs 70 per kg and more in just over a month. Tomato is an essential commodity, and its prices have skyrocketed over the past few weeks, owing to crop damage in producing states, tapering supplies, demonetisation, and other reasons. Here are the top 5 points you should know why the tomato prices are surging:

1) The tapering supplies of tomatoes from the last summer crop are one of the top reasons, as per reports by Indian Express. The farmers would be planting the next autumn/kharif crop at this time. But even after discounting for the normally low market arrivals now, there is no doubt that in many places the current rates have jumped to around Rs 90-100 per kg.

2) Post demonetisation, from November to May the producer realisations were low. The farmers were inclined to plant less of the summer tomato this time. Therefore the prices in major produce markets such as Madanapalle, Kolar and Sangamner did not cross single digits till early- or even mid-May.

3) While the report by Indian Express also suggests that the consumers began noticing tomato prices when they started rising towards June end. The prices were not noticed throughout the previous seven months or more after note ban.

4) In many cases, farmers stopped applying fertilizer or maintaining their summer tomato crop after the first and second pickings. They practically terminated their crop, of which the impact is being felt now.

5) According to Shishir Srivastava, technical manager (vegetables) at Monsanto India, a leading hybrid vegetable seeds supplier, tomato plantings in the current kharif season have so far been 35-40 per cent lower relative to last year. While high prices could still induce plantings, the fact is the nursery sowing time is over in many areas.

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