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Tomato riding at ` 50 a kg in Chittoor

Tomato riding at ` 50 a kg in Chittoor

Mon Apr 15 2019



The price of tomato on Sunday touched `50 a kg in many local markets across the district, and the situation is expected to continue till the month-end.


The reason for skyrocketing of the price is attributed to the low yield since the first week of March. While the stocks reaching the tomato traders at Madanapalle market yard in the district, considered Asia’s largest, was 900 tonnes per day in April 2018, this year the figure has fallen to a mere 200 tonnes.


The Madanapalle revenue division has about 20,000 tomato growers cultivating the produce in about 30,000 hectares. Half of them are members of the tomato market at Madanapalle.


Tomato growers observed that during the last three years, the climatic condition was playing truant with them, in the backdrop of failure of rains, depletion of groundwater table, and moisture factor in air and soil.


Since the first week of April this year, the temperatures are gradually increasing, crossing 40 degree Celsius. This has led to a sudden drop in the yield, delay in flowering and budding. In contrast, the temperatures stood tolerable last summer till April, allowing the first cutting of crop with good yields.


Market Committee former chairman, Ratakonda Gurappa Naidu told The Hindu that by April-end the yields would improve. “There is a tremendous delay in the crop pattern this season,” he said.

Wholesale price


The wholesale price of tomato stood at `312 per box (10 kg) for the first variety and `194 for the second variety. Interestingly, the first variety, despite low yield, is taken away by traders from Bengaluru and Chennai, the second variety has come to dominate the local markets at `50 a kg. But for small quantum, the exports have completely come down.


With sudden increase in price, households are substituting it with tamarind.



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