Bengaluru: Exactly two months ago, a kilogram of tomato was sold for Rs 10, and growers from Kolar, Tumakuru, Chinthamani and other areas protested demanding better prices. But on Wednesday, the same vegetable had hit Rs 100 per kg at retail stores across the city. Even at Horticultural Producers’ Cooperative Marketing and Processing Society (HOPCOMS) outlets, the price was Rs 82 per kg.
Customers complained that even with these searing prices, the quality of tomatoes was poor as the local variety has vanished from the market. The shortage is because of heavy pre-monsoon showers that have destroyed the crop in southern parts of the state where the vegetable is cultivated widely.
Mr Janardhana Bangera, a vegetable wholesale merchant in Yeshwanthpur, said that the price of tomato has been soaring over the last one week. “I am in this business for the last two decades. This is the first time that the price of tomato has crossed Rs 70 per kg. If the rain continues over the next one week, prices may go up even further,"
“The prices will start falling only after 20-25 days when fresh produce comes into the market,” he explained. Mr Mohammed Usman, another vegetable wholesale seller at KR Market, said that heavy rain in Tamil Nadu was also responsible for the steep rise in prices of all vegetables. “KR Market gets around 80 tonnes of vegetables every day. Of which around 5-6 tonnes are tomatoes. But over the last few days, there has been a drastic dip is the supply of tomato due to rain,” he said.
“It is a golden period for tomato growers, who always suffer because of the fluctuation in prices. If the trend continues for the next two weeks, the growers will see big money," said Mr Munishyamappa, a vegetable supplier from Dobbspet. In online stores, a kilogram of tomato was being sold for Rs 91....