Extreme weather in parts of India, attributed by some to climate change, has reduced crop output this year. According to Food Ministry data, the average retail price of tomatoes, an essential ingredient in most Indian dishes, has risen 70% from a month ago to 53.75 per kilogram as of June, representing a 168% increase over the previous year.
During the current drought, tomato supplies from states such as Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have dwindled. In several states, unseasonal rains harmed lemon crops during the flowering stage in January. Then, in March-April, a heatwave hampered harvesting.
In April, lemon prices skyrocketed to unprecedented highs, reaching up to $200 per kilo, angering and shocking consumers. Heavy rains had harmed lemon plantings in December and January when they were in their early flowering stage.