The retail price of tomatoes rose to Rs 93 per kg in metros on Monday on sluggish arrival in mandis amid reports of crop damage, owing to unseasonal rains, according to the government data.
Among metro cities, tomatoes were sold at Rs 93 per kg in Kolkata, Rs 60 per kg in Chennai, Rs 59 per kg in Delhi and Rs 53 per kg in Chennai on Monday, data showed.
The retail price of tomatoes was ruling at more than Rs 50 per kg in over 50 cities out of 175-odd cities tracked by the consumer affairs ministry.
Even in the wholesale markets, tomatoes were sold at Rs 84 per kg in Kolkata, at Rs 52 per kg in Chennai, Rs 30 per kg in Mumbai and Rs 29.50 per kg in Delhi on Monday, the data showed.
Tomato prices are ruling firm due to poor arrival amid the damage of the crop because of the unseasonal rains in key growing states.
In Mumbai, tomato arrival was lower at 241 tonnes on October 16 as against 290 tonnes a week ago, while arrival was at 528.9 tonnes in Delhi and 545 tonnes in Kolkata on the same date, according to the government data that did not have a comparable data for three metro cities.
"We are not getting good-quality tomatoes from mandi itself because of rains.
"Consumers pick good ones and the rotten ones are left behind which is a loss to us.
"So, we keep rates in such a way to recover that loss also," said a vegetable hawker Shiva Lal Yadav who sells in Karol Bagh colony of Delhi.
Currently, harvesting is underway in key growing states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
Last week, Azadpur Tomato Association President Ashok Kaushik had said, "Unseasonal rains in producing states like Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have damaged the crop due to which the supply to consuming markets like Delhi has been affected.
"This has led to a rise in prices both in wholesale and retail markets."
The Tomato crop is ready for harvest in about 2-3 months after planting.
Harvesting is done as per the requirement of the market.
India, the world's second-largest tomato producer after China, produces around 19.75 million tonnes from an area of 7.89 lakh hectares with an average yield of 25.05 tonnes per hectare, according to the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation.
Photograph: Ajay Verma/Reuters