Rising vegetable prices are upsetting household budgets

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Retail prices of essential vegetables, especially tomatoes, potatoes and onions, have skyrocketed across India in the past two months, shattering household budgets. According to a survey conducted by the community social media platform LocalCircles, 71% of households say they pay more than Rs 50 / kg for tomato, Rs 40 / kg for potato and Rs 50 / kg for onion. According to the daily rate quoted by the Ministry of Consumption on November 2, if you buy one kg of Aloo (potato), Pyaz (onion) and Tamatar (tomato) each, it will cost you Rs 150-235 depending on the city .

LocalCircles conducted a survey to understand how much more people spend per kilogram of onions, potatoes and tomatoes. It comes as consumers use their discretion in the face of rising prices for these vegetables over the past two months.

To the first question that asked, “What best describes the price per kilogram that your household paid for the purchase of onions, potatoes and tomatoes in the last purchase?” », 8,273 responses were received from citizens. Notably, 71% of citizens said they paid more than Rs 50 per kg for tomato, Rs 40 per kg for potato and Rs 50 per kg for onion. Compared to a similar LocalCircles survey published on September 11, 2020, 61% of households reported paying more than Rs 60 per kg for tomatoes, Rs 30 per kg for potatoes and Rs 25 per kg for onions. This means that while the average retail price paid by the majority of households per kilogram for potatoes has increased by 30% and onions by 100%, while the price of tomatoes has fallen by 15% in just one month.

Individual data on these three vegetables suggests that 42% of citizens bought “tomatoes at Rs 60 or more, potatoes at Rs 60 or more and onions at Rs 70 or more”. While 29% of citizens said they bought per kg of “tomato at INR 50-59, potato at Rs 40-59 and onion at Rs 50-69”, while 11% said they bought “tomato at Rs 30 -49 Rs, potato at Rs 20-39 and onion at Rs 30-49 “. Only 6% of citizens declared having bought” tomatoes at Rs 20 or less, potatoes at Rs 19 or less and onions at INR 29 or less ”in some places.

The report further notes that 70 percent of households said they paid 25 to 100 percent higher prices this year for the per kilogram purchase of tomatoes, potatoes and onions. While only 5 percent of citizens said they “paid the same as last year”, while 1 percent of citizens said they paid less compared to last year. 11% voted “I can’t say”.

This is because many households faced significant loss of income or job loss during the pandemic. Sectors such as tourism, hotels and restaurants have also suffered severe cuts.

While the price per kilogram of tomato paid by the majority of citizens has slightly decreased over the last 30 days, the price per kilogram of potato has increased by 30%, and the price per kilogram of onion has increased by 100%, disrupting household budgets for basic necessities. The second question asked citizens: “Overall, in 2020, what price did your household pay on average for tomatoes, potatoes and onions compared to 2019?” »7,904 citizens responded. Notably, 70% of households reported paying 25-100% higher prices this year for the per kilogram purchase of tomato, potato and onion. While only 5% of citizens said they ‘paid the same as last year while 1% of citizens said they’ paid less than last year ‘and 11% voted for “I can’t say”.

This indicates a significant squeeze as many households suffered significant income or job losses during the pandemic.

Sectors like tourism, hotels and restaurants have suffered severe cuts as people continue to restrict travel due to fear of COVID-19. People employed in many of these industries dip into savings and take out high-interest loans just to make ends meet.

The survey received over 16,000 responses from citizens of 242 districts in India. Of which 58% were from level 1, 23% from level 2 and 17% of respondents were from levels 3, 4 and rural districts.

He also tried to understand the average amount a household paid this year to buy these vegetables compared to 2019.


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