According to the latest government data, Tomato rates in the wholesale markets have significantly dipped to Rs 4 per kg despite the mushy oversupply of the produce. The wholesale rates in 23 areas with maximum tomato production witnessed a steep rise in prices (about 50 per cent) despite a flourished production against the three-year seasonal average scale. Tomato produce from the early Kharif (summer) season of the current year in between the months of July-June is already being harvested.
“Prices have come under pressure in key growing states because of the supply glut. The tomato crop has been good owing to favourable weather,” informed National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF) Acting Director P K Gupta to PTI.
The tomato production from the summer (early Kharif) season is estimated to be better than last year and farmers can be saved from falling prices if food processing companies come to their rescue, he said. No doubt, the favourable weather has helped boost the crop production, but farmers’ tendency to grow the crop the price of which was ruling higher at the time of sowing — has added to higher production, he added. “When production is higher, prices come under pressure,” Gupta added.
As per the stats, Madhya Pradesh’s Dewas, India’s largest tomato producing region, conferred tomatoes at just Rs 8 per kg with effect from August 28 of this year against the past Rs 11 per kg. Similarly, the wholesale market price of tomatoes at Karnataka’s Kolar, dipped to 5.30 per kg on August 28 against the previous crop season ranging from tomatoes at Rs 18.70 per kg. In Chickkaballapura tomatoes are priced at Rs 7.30 per kg in a similar quarter.
The improved situation of tomato production continues to augment in Andhra Pradesh too, the country’s second-largest tomato producing state, wherein the wholesale market price at Palamaner ranged at Rs 18.50 per kg, Madanpalle and Mulakalacheruvu situated in Chitoor district too witnessed a dense fall in prices.
Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal contiguously experience a sharp decrease in prices ranging at Rs 8-20 per kg and Rs 25-32 per kg respectively. According to the estimation by the Agriculture Ministry, India’s production of tomatoes saw a surge of 2.20 per cent to 21 million tonnes in the 2020-21 crop year (July-June) compared to 20.55 million tonnes in the previous year.