Vijayawada: Costly tomatoes bleed household budget
Prices may hover in high range till January 2022 when fresh crops will arrive
Vijayawada: Exorbitant tomato prices will continue till January/February in Vijayawada due to short supply of tomatoes from Chittoor district.
Tomatoes are sold at Rs70 a kg in rythu bazaars and between Rs100 and Rs120 in the retail market in recent days.
The prime reason for the sky rocketing price of tomato is short supplies from Madanapalle in Chittoor district.
Vijayawada city mainly depends on Chittoor district for the tomato imports.
The recent cyclonic rains damaged the tomato crop in Chittoor district resulting in drastic decrease in the supply to Vijayawada. Now, the city is getting hardly 15 trucks of tomatoes every day. Earlier, the city used to receive more than 30 truck loads from Chittoor district.
Tomatoes are generally sold at Rs15 to Rs20 a kg in Vijayawada. However, the price of tomatoes started increasing from October 1 onwards. This was due to crop damage in some parts of Chittoor district due to rains. But, the recent devastating cyclonic rains badly damaged most of the crops in Chittoor district and supplies from the district drastically declined. Tomato prices skyrocketed in Madanapalle and went up to Rs.100 a kg recently.
On October 1, it was sold at Rs24 a kg in Rythu bazaars in Vijayawada. Later, the price gradually went up to Rs38 a kg by October 20 and further increased to Rs54 by November 1.
Now, the price reached the record level of Rs 70 in rythu bazaars on Thursday.
Many consumers stopped buying tomatoes. In Ajit Singh Nagar Rythu bazaar, a tomato farmer said he sells only five kg tomatoes in the day because there is no demand. He used to sell 15 to 20 kg tomatoes every day when the price was between Rs15 to Rs.20.
M Srinivasa Sastry, Estate Officer of the Rythu Bazaar said the prices of tomatoes will come down in January or February 2022 when the fresh crop will arrive. He said the high prices of tomatoes will continue some more weeks due to drastic fall in supplies from Chittoor district.
Tomato crop is very limited in Krishna district and cultivated in only 370 acres in Divi Seema region. In the Krishna district, tomato crops will be grown and harvested in January or February, 2022, said B Dayakar Babu, assistant director of Horticulture.
He added there was no damage to tomato crop in Krishna district in the recent cyclone, which badly affected South Coastal districts and Rayalaseema region.