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Tomatoes turn 'red gold'

Gayathri V Raj, May 21, 2013, DHNS: 0:18 IST
With tomatoes in short supply, only a very few vendors were seen selling the vegetable, in Mysore. dh photo
Even as the plummeting price of gold and silver has brought cheers among homemakers, the sudden rise in price of tomatoes has shocked them to the core. The retail price of the red fleshy fruit has reached Rs 60 per kg, which was not more than Rs 16 a month ago.

With the rise in prices, tomato pulav and the tangy ‘tomato gojju’, a perfect combination for dosas, idlis, chapathis, etc, will go missing on your platter for a while, at least until the prices resume normalcy.

A few years ago, tomatoes had reached the Rs 60 plus mark and was described as ‘red gold’ for it was beyond the reach of common people.

Vegetable vendors carrying tomatoes in baskets on bicycles have switched over to selling fruits as sales of the vegetable has slumped due price rise. Shop-keepers in residential areas too have very less stock due to the perishable quality of the commodity.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Linganna, Supervisor at Hopcoms, near Curzon Park, said two varieties of 618 breed tomatoes are being sold at the outlet. While hybrid tomatoes called as jam tomatoes are purchased at Rs 33 from farmers, the round variety is procured at Rs 38. However, the selling price is about Rs 47 and Rs 52 respectively, he said.

Rajendra, godown keeper at Hopcoms, said farmers from Seebihalli, P G Hundi, Settihalli, K R Nagar and surrounding areas supply tomatoes to the market.

The price of vegetables are fixed at the APMC and followed at all Hopcoms outlets in the city. Some of the farmers directly sell their produce here to avoid paying commission.

While some of the farmers have stopped agricultural activities due to prevailing drought, which might be one cause for the rise in prices, others who have started cultivation following mild showers over the past one month complain of pest attack and low yields, resulting in short supply.

However, the situation is hoped to ease in a fortnight, with the district experiencing scattered rainfall, he said.

The price of other vegetables has also increased with beans selling at Rs 120 per kg. Coriander leaves, which is indispensable for Indian cooking, is Rs 5 for a small bunch.

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