Retail tomato prices are ruling at Rs 80 per kg in most cities across India but the rates have shot up to as high as Rs 120 per kg in few southern states because of widespread rains, according to government data.
In Chennai, retail price of tomato was at Rs 100 per kg, Puducherry Rs 90 per kg, Bengalure Rs 88 per kg and Hyderabad Rs 65 per kg.
In Kerala, retail prices of tomato are ruling at Rs 120 per kg in Kottayam, Rs 110 per kg in Ernakulam, Rs 103 per kg in Tiruvananthapuram, Rs 100 per kg in Palakkad, Rs 97 per kg in Trissure, and Rs 90 per kg in Wayanad and Kozikode.
In Karnataka, retail prices of tomato are ruling at Rs 85 per kg in Dharwad, Rs 84 per kg in Mysure, Rs 80 a kg in Mangalore and Rs 78 per kg in Bellary.
In Andhra Pradesh, tomato prices are ruling at Rs 91 per kg in Vijawada, Rs 80 per kg in Vishakapatnam and Rs 75 per kg in Tirupati.
In Tamil Nadu, tomato is selling at Rs 119 per kg in Ramanathapuram, Rs 103 per kg in Tirunelveli, Rs 97 per kg in Thiruchirapalli, Rs 94 per kg in Cuddalore and Rs 90 per kg in Coimbatore.
However in the national capital, tomato was sold at Rs 72 per kg, according to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry for 167 centres representing all regions of the country.
As per the data, retail tomato prices began to rise from the beginning of October and have been ruling at elevated levels in November.
All India modal retail price of tomato stood at Rs 40 per kg on October 1 and shot up to Rs 50 per kg by end of the month.
The prices further rose to Rs 80 per kg on November 23.
There has been sharp rise in retail tomato prices in major cities of south India due to widespread moderate to heavy rainfalls during the northeast monsoon since the first week of November due to frequent formations of low-pressure areas in the Bay of Bengal, or cyclonic circulation in the Arabian Sea.
As a result, the tomato crop has been damaged causing tight supply situation.
Azadpur Tomato Association president Ashok Kaushik said, "The tomato supply to Delhi from south India has been affected because of the rains.
"If rains continue in the coming days, the prices in the national capital might rise from the current level."
The tomato prices in Azadpur wholesale market fell slightly on Tuesday due to arrival of desi variety tomato from neighbouring states of Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, he said.
At present, harvesting is underway in key growing states of Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Tomato crop will be ready for harvest in around 2-3 months after planting and 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 National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation.
Photograph: Tomas Bravo/Reuters