Tomato prices have skyrocketed in the Delhi-NCR region, reaching as high as Rs 140 per kg, primarily due to disruptions in the tomato supply chain caused by heavy rainfall in the producing areas. Wholesale prices at Azadpur Mandi, Asia’s largest wholesale fruits and vegetables market, ranged between Rs 60 and Rs 120 per kg, depending on the quality. Mother Dairy’s Safal sold tomatoes at Rs 99 per kg, while online retailers like Otipy and BigBasket quoted prices of Rs 140 per kg and Rs 105-110 per kg, respectively.
According to Ashok Kaushik, President of the Azadpur Tomato Association, the surge in prices can be attributed to limited supplies from the main tomato-producing regions.
He said that heavy rainfall has disrupted the supply chain, depleting the stock from neighboring Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
Presently, Himachal Pradesh remains the sole supplier for the Delhi-NCR region, but even they are facing challenges due to the adverse weather conditions, impacting harvesting and transportation, he added.
Traders are unable to source tomatoes from Maharashtra and Karnataka due to the high prices resulting from rains in those areas. Kaushik explained that a crate weighing 25 kg is being quoted at prices ranging from Rs 2,400 to Rs 3,000.
“With tomato prices at the producing centers already at Rs 100-120 per kg, traders find it financially unviable to bring the commodity to Delhi at such elevated rates,” Kaushik said.
He said that the situation is expected to improve in the next 15 days as the rainfall subsides in southern states.
He added that once that happens, the supply of tomatoes in the Delhi-NCR region is anticipated to increase, leading to a stabilization of prices. However, until then, the high prices are likely to persist. Kaushik, who is also a member of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) Azadpur, emphasised that the price surge in tomatoes is a seasonal occurrence, and prices typically cool down after this period.
This surge in tomato prices is not limited to the Delhi-NCR region but has also been observed in other parts of the country. The government has stated that this price increase is a seasonal phenomenon and expects prices to normalize within the next 15 days. (With inputs from PTI)