Vijayawada: The sky-high tomato prices will continue through January / February in Vijayawada due to the tomato shortage in Chittoor District.
Tomatoes are sold at Rs70 per kg in rhythu bazaars and between Rs100 and Rs120 on the retail market in recent days.
The main reason for the soaring tomato prices is the lack of supply to Madanapalle in the Chittoor district.
The city of Vijayawada depends mainly on the district of Chittoor for tomato imports.
The recent cyclonic rains damaged the tomato crop in Chittoor district, resulting in a drastic reduction in supply to Vijayawada. The city now receives barely 15 trucks of tomatoes per day. Previously, the city received more than 30 truck loads from Chittoor district.
Tomatoes are generally sold between Rs 15 and Rs 20 per kg in Vijayawada. However, the price of tomatoes started to increase from October 1. This was due to crop damage in parts of Chittoor district due to the rains. But, recent devastating cyclonic rains have severely damaged most crops in Chittoor district and supplies to the district have declined significantly. Tomato prices have skyrocketed in Madanapalle and recently jumped to Rs 100 per kg.
On October 1, it was sold for Rs24 per kg in Rythu bazaars in Vijayawada. Later, the price gradually rose to Rs 38 per kg on October 20 and further increased to Rs 54 on November 1.
Now the price has hit a record high of Rs 70 in Rythu bazaars on Thursday.
Many consumers have stopped buying tomatoes. In Ajit Singh Nagar Rythu’s bazaar, a tomato farmer said he only sells five kg of tomatoes a day because there is no demand. He sold 15 to 20 kg of tomatoes every day when the price was between 15 and 20 rupees.
Rythu Bazaar real estate agent Mr Srinivasa Sastry said tomato prices will drop in January or February 2022, when the new crop arrives. He said high tomato prices will continue for a few more weeks due to the drastic drop in supplies to the Chittoor district.
Tomato harvest is very limited in Krishna district and grown on only 370 acres in Divi Seema area. In Krishna District, tomato crops will be grown and harvested in January or February 2022, said B Dayakar Babu, deputy director of horticulture.
He added that there had been no damage to the tomato crop in Krishna district during the recent cyclone, which severely affected the southern coast districts and Rayalaseema region.