New Delhi: Although the arrival of the southwest monsoon has brought a much-needed respite from the intense heat, but it has also led to a surge in tomato prices across the nation.
In numerous locations across the national capital, including the Azadpur Mandi, tomatoes are being sold at or above Rs 80 to 100 per kg.
The wholesale dealers attribute the issue to heavy rainfall in various regions of north India which has resulted in damage to the tomato crops, thereby limiting the availability of an adequate supply and causing a price increase.
Bitter gourd and pointed gourd (parwal) have also seen a spike and are currently priced at Rs 60-70 per kilogram.
Even traditionally cheaper options like zucchini and ladies finger, commonly used in households during the summer season, have experienced significant price increases. These vegetables are now being sold at Rs. 45 to 50 per kg in the current market.
Surprisingly, ginger, often used as a spice in tea, is now priced at Rs 400 per kg.
Meanwhile, potatoes are available at a price of Rs 20 to 25 per kg.
“As a result of these rising prices, customers have been forced to reduce the quantity of vegetables they purchase, trying to balance their budgets accordingly. In the national capital, the skyrocketing prices of tomatoes can be attributed to the limited supply from states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh,” said Mahesh, a wholesaler in Azapur Mandi.
Shyam lal, a vegetable seller in East Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area, said that due to rise in prices, there has been a significant fall in sales.
“The prices of tomato, ginger and other vegetables have shot up. We too have to buy limited stock from mandis because there are now limited customers. The profit margin has also gone down,” said Shyam Lal.
Kuldeep Sharma, a buyer, said that the household budget has been adversely affected by the sudden increase in prices of commonly used vegetables like tomatoes and this situation has made it extremely challenging for middle-class families to sustain themselves.
Another buyer, Rajendra, shared that he is the sole earner in his family, earning a monthly income of Rs 20,000.
In addition to meeting other expenses, such as paying his daughter’s school fees and house rent, the skyrocketing prices of tomatoes have forced his family to completely eliminate it from their diet.
Rajendra expressed hope that tomato prices will return to normal so that people in similar circumstances can afford them once again.