Srinagar: Prices of tomato in the summer capital have soared to Rs 250 per kg, causing concern among people.
A kg of tomato is being sold at exorbitant Rs 250 per kg in absence of regulation by authorities.
President Fruit Mandi Bashir Ahmad said that prices of tomato have surged in the last few weeks due to heavy rains and flood like situation in neighboring Himachal Pradesh.
He said that Punjab, a major tomato producer, also faced adverse weather conditions, resulting in a shortage of vegetables.
He said that Srinagar receives 20 to 30 truckloads of tomatoes from Punjab and four to five truckloads from Himachal Pradesh on a daily basis.
“The local production of tomatoes in Srinagar is ready, with wholesale prices currently ranging from Rs 110 to Rs 120 per kg. As the supply of local tomatoes increases in the coming days, it is anticipated that prices will drop. The price hike is primarily due to high demand and limited supply,” he said.
Furthermore, the closure of Srinagar-Jammu National Highway and unfavorable weather conditions in other states have contributed to the overall increase in vegetable and fruit prices.
A vegetable vendor in the Downtown area said that they are already purchasing tomatoes at higher rates in the wholesale market. However, they remain hopeful that prices will decrease with the availability of locally grown tomatoes.
“We expect prices will definitely go down as we will have a local tomato available now,” he said.
Locals said that the sudden rise in prices of vegetables has dwindled the kitchen budget of homemakers.
“We wonder why authorities are in slumber and how they all vendors to charge exorbitant rates for tomato and other veggies,” they said.
“Vendors here in Downtown are selling tomatoes at higher prices. He was selling 1 kg tomatoes at Rs 250, I couldn’t afford it. This inflation of vegetables and fruits is killing middle class people like us. Now, we cannot even afford vegetables. Government is doing nothing about it,” said Nahida, a resident of Rainawari locality.
India is facing a tomato crisis as prices have skyrocketed more than 300% due to extreme weather conditions.
As per the official data, tomato prices surged 341% year-to-date, from 24.68 rupees per kg to 108.92 rupees per kg as of July 11.
Flooding in major tomato producing states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka has been a key driver to the price surge, according to India’s National Institute of Biotic Stresses Management, a council dedicated to agricultural research.