No respite for consumers, as tomatoes go for ₹100 per kg in Gurgaon
Haryana agriculture minister OP Dhankar said the state is working on a plan to put a leash on the prices of fruits and vegetablesgurgaon Updated: Jul 26, 2017 22:24 IST
The price of tomatoes in Gurgaon markets have skyrocketed to ₹100 per kg, throwing kitchen budgets across households haywire.
Though the price of tomatoes in some areas dipped by ₹10 on Wednesday, in most areas of the city the kitchen staple cost ₹90-₹100 per kilogram. Retailers in most city markets said that the price of tomatoes has been on an upward spiral due to untimely rains and an ever-growing gulf between demand and supply.
However, state agriculture minister OP Dhankar said the government is hopeful of putting a leash on the skyrocketing prices of fruits and vegetables, as it is working on a price smart and climate smart agriculture concept that will provide relief to consumers.
He, however, said it could take another six months to achieve a parity between demand and supply of tomatoes in Haryana.
With the tomato prices going north in most retail markets in the city, homemakers have been exploring ways to deal with the crisis. While some have started using tomato puree, others have cut down on tomatoes in their day-to-day cooking.
“The price of tomatoes starts at ₹100 per kg. It’s far beyond what we can afford. I have cut down on tomatoes and use just one in my day-to-day cooking. Tomato soup and salad have suddenly become items that are too expensive to feature in our menu,” Anju Singh, a resident of Jalvayu Towers, Sector 56, said.
The city lower middle-class section has been hit the hardest by this continued price spiral.
Though the vegetable is considered as a kitchen staple in most households and is used in almost every dish across north India, the spiralling prices have forced many to reduce consumption of tomatoes by a significant margin. Retailers and vendors, too, claimed that there are very few takers for tomatoes in the city these days and many have even started buying less vegetables.
“Till last week, the retail price of tomatoes was ₹120 per kg. However, as soon as rains hit the city, the price went up to ₹130 per kg and finally settled at ₹100 per kg on Wednesday. Due to the price rise, people are not buying more than 250 grams of tomatoes at a time now,” Chain Singh, a vendor at Nirvana Country vegetable market, said.
Upscale localities such as DLF, South City-2, Sushant Lok, Sohna Road, Sector 56, 57 and Malibu Towne also reported high tomato prices. However, in sectors 40, 31, 30 and Old Gurgaon, there was slight dip in prices.
On an average, Gurgaon gets 500 to 600 quintals of tomatoes daily, but on Wednesday, the city’s wholesale market received 350 quintals of tomatoes. Last week, the price of tomatoes hovered between ₹100 and ₹110 per kg.
Wholesalers at Khandsa market said the price of tomatoes has been stagnant over the last 20 days due to a major reduction in supply from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, Ladwa in Haryana and other places in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and western India.
“We used to have heavy footfall every day but since the (tomato) price shot up, the number of consumers has decreased by half. Though people buy other seasonal vegetables, they only shop for a maximum of half-a-kilogram,” Yogender Kumar, a shopkeeper in Sector 31 market, said.
Dhankar, said, “To ensure people get vegetables at reasonable rates throughout the year, we are launching a peri-urban agriculture concept whereby fruits and vegetables for a particular district will be grown in neighbouring villages. We will soon start four kinds of mandis in the state — frozen, dry, processed and fresh.”