Tomato Tsunami Hits Pune: Farmers Struggle with Rock-Bottom Rates

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Pune, 11th September 2023: Tomatoes, once fetching prices of Rs 150 to Rs 200 per kilogram for farmers before August 15, have now plummeted to a mere five to seven rupees. The lack of demand from market committees has forced farmers to discard their tomato harvest, and these once-precious vegetables are now being sold at rock-bottom prices. Throughout June, July, and up until August 15, tomato prices remained high across the country.

Farmers were enjoying an average rate of 150 to 200 rupees per kilogram, prompting the Central government to resort to importing tomatoes from Nepal. Government agencies stepped in to procure tomatoes, selling them in the capital city of Delhi. However, in just fifteen days, the value of these tomatoes has dwindled to almost nothing. The decline in tomato prices commenced on August 15, and rates have plummeted rapidly, leaving farmers with meager earnings of Rs 5 to 7 per kilogram. In the retail market, consumers are now purchasing tomatoes for Rs 15 to 20 per kilogram.

The closure of the capital city, Delhi, for the past four days due to the G-20 conference has also affected tomato prices. The Agricultural Produce Market Committee in Delhi was shuttered during this period, blocking the supply from Narayangaon and Nashik to Delhi. On a daily basis, approximately 5 to 6 truckloads of tomatoes are typically transported from Narayangaon, and around 100 trucks come from Nashik and Pimpalgaon to supply tomatoes to Delhi. This disruption in exports has contributed to the recent drop in tomato prices.

Tomato production has surged across the state, with local production now meeting local demand. The closure of the Delhi market for four days has had a tangible impact on prices, with farmers currently receiving an average rate of Rs 5 to 7 per kilogram, according to Rupesh Kawade, Secretary of the Junnar Agricultural Produce Market Committee.


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