Tomato prices soar in Mysuru as supply hit

Tomato prices are on an upward spiral with a kg selling for Rs 30 to Rs 40. Farmers growing tomatoes are a happy lot as a sudden spurt in prices has brought smiles on their faces but the increased rates are burning a hole in the consumers pocket.

 A month ago tomatoes were being sold for as low as Rs 5 but today they are available for Rs 30 to Rs 40 depending on their size and quality. Nagaraj of HOPCOMS told DH that tomatoes are supplied to the city from Mysuru taluk but for the past one week only 500 kg of tomatoes were arriving at market places every day. The supply was insufficient to meet the demand. He said a decline in supply was contributing to the recent hike in prices.

Farmers who had taken up tomato cultivation on a large scale a few months ago had to face huge losses as the prices crashed due to a bumper yield. With the procurement price going below Rs two per kg, farmers were badly affected. A crate (20 kg) of tomatoes was fetching them around Rs 50 but unable to meet the transportation cost, most of the farmers left the fruits to rot in the plant.

With the region affected due to severe drought, only a few farmers equipped with pump sets are growing tomatoes and are seeing a good profit with each kilo of tomato (depending on the quality) fetching them approximately Rs 40.

 TN dependent on state

With the neighbouring state Tamil Nadu also facing a shortage, tomatoes grown in Karnataka, especially from Chamarajanagar district, are being supplied in large quantities to Erode, Coimbatore, Madurai, Mettupalayam and also to Kerala.

Thanks to the demand, traders are camping in the border district to directly purchase tomatoes from farmers who are being paid Rs 20 per kg at their doorsteps. The direct sales have resulted in tomatoes not reaching markets and also effecting a sudden hike in prices. Only 200 crates of tomatoes are being supplied to the market every day in Chamarajanagar district. Some farmers in Gundlupet and Hanur are growing tomatoes extensively to supply to the Kerala market.
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