Tomato prices on plummeted to their lowest in the current season last Wednesday, to Rs2-3 a kg (some €0.04) in Nashik’s wholesale market Agricultural Produce Market Committee. This was due to the high arrivals.
Farmers and traders sold their tomato crop in a hurry to avoid its spoilage due to a short shelf life. The rapidly deteriorating quality of the stored tomatoes has led to a dramatic price fall in Nashik, the largest supplier of this vegetable additive to Mumbai.
Consequently, hybrid tomato prices in Mumbai’s wholesale mandi have declined by 25 per cent so far this month and trade currently at Rs 6 a kg now, from Rs 8 a kg earlier this month. Local variety of tomato, which is primarily used for juice and chutney making, quoted at Rs 2-3 a kg in both Nashik and Mumbai. Such a low price of tomato is set to hit farmers, who borrowed funds from local moneylenders at high interest rates, badly.
“This type of tomato is number 5 in trade parlance, implying the lowest quality. Such tomato cannot be stored for long. Hence, traders and stockists are required to sell their produce quickly before the quality deteriorates further. Deteriorating quality may fetch no value for such tomato. Export quality tomato, however, continues to fetch premiums over the local type,” said the proprietor of the Ambica Vegetables & Fruits Company, a Nashik-based tomato supplier.