Tomato at ₹80 a kg unnerves public in Chittoor

Damage to the crop due to the inclement weather since a week, and plummeting yields led to a sudden spike in the price of tomato to ₹80 a kg in Chittoor district on Monday. Several vegetable markets saw no takers for tomatoes.

According to information, the tomato market at Madanapalle, the largest in Asia, received 419 tonnes of tomato on Monday. While the first grade was sold at ₹58 a kg, the second variety was priced at ₹29.6 a kg in the wholesale. The market officials said that with the start of winter months, arrivals generally remain low. However, the climatic conditions in Madanapalle division led to crop damage in some stretches, leading to a slump in the arrivals.

Vegetable merchants in Chittoor said that last year, the tomato prices slipped to below ₹10 a kg in November, with the business suffering under the impact of COVID first wave. While bulk stocks of the first variety were transported to Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and other cities in the neighbouring States, the domestic markets in Chittoor, Nellore and Madanapalle were receiving the second and third grade varieties, which get damaged quickly.

The skyrocketing of petrol prices had its impact on the tomato trade this year, right from the June itself. The third grade tomato prices between June and October stood between ₹20 and ₹40 a kg in the retail market, but the tag was doubled from November 1 onwards.

An official at tomato market at Madanapalle said the prices were expected to go further up, and may cross ₹100 by the month-end as the arrivals had already shown signs of plummeting.

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