Tomato Prices In India Surge 700% As Heavy Rains Force Scarcity

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News in brief: Tomato prices in India have surged by 700% due to heavy rains and floods, causing supply disruptions and concerns for consumers, given the central role of tomatoes in Indian cuisine. The government is taking measures to alleviate the crisis, but analysts expect the situation to normalize with improved supply chains and better weather conditions in the coming weeks.

Prices of tomatoes in India have hit record highs, as the commodity witnessed a 700% increase in cost in recent weeks, reports say. The hike in prices is attributed to heavy rains and floods that have devastated farmlands across the country. The adverse weather also created a disruption in supply lines, leading to hike in fares.

India’s food situation has sparked a general outcry, leading to debates on national television and other news media outlets. The situation is of worrying concern to consumers as a majority of Indian cuisine is largely tomato based. There are reports that the produce shortage has leading to removing tomatoes from certain dishes of food outlets.

The crisis has, however, benefitted some tomato farmers and sellers. A kilogram of the commodity traded at over $2 in retail prices, compared to less than a quarter of a dollar that it sold for just the preceding month.

Analysts expect the situation to normalise in the coming weeks, owing to improved supply chains and more favourable weather. The government is also seeking to ameliorate the situation by selling the produce at subsidised rates. It is has also deployed mobile vans to this end to ensure wider reach. Although, consumers have complained that it is still too expensive in some places.

The months of July and August traditionally witness high price tags for the commodity in the country. India, the world’s second largest producers of tomatoes, records annual sales of nearly 20 million tonnes. Together with top producers, China and Turkey, the country account for about 50% of global output. Thus, the problem with India’s tomato price hike could spread to the rest of the world that depends on its exports like Maldives, United Arab Emirates and United States.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.


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