Hubballi: After unseasonal heavy rains, the price of tomatoes has increased sharply in the retail and wholesale markets in Hubli and other districts of North Karnataka region.
A few days back, tomato growers in Koppal, Dharwad and other parts protested when tomato prices fell by Re 1 to Rs 2 per kg due to dumping of tomatoes on the roads.
Now, the picture is completely different as tomato growers are now making huge profits.
Tomato prices have reached Rs 60-70 per kg in Hubli retail market and other districts of North Karnataka.
Sarfaraz Ahmed Waddo, a wholesale tomato trader of APMC in Hubli, told TOI that the stock coming to APMC has come down significantly in the last few days. “Earlier we used to get 100 to 150 cans of tomatoes but now we get only 30 to 40 cans daily. Each box contains 25 to 26 kg of tomatoes. The sudden shortage of tomatoes in the wholesale market has led to a rise in the prices of tomatoes.
There is not enough supply from local tomato growers from Dharwad district, Harapanahalli, Davangere and Kolar. He said that due to heavy and unseasonal rains in the last 2-3 months most of the produce got damaged, leading to shortage in the market.
Earlier tomato was in the range of Rs 60 to Rs 80 per box, but now it has increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 per box in APMC. As a result, the price of tomato has gone up to Rs 50-60 per kg in the local retail market. APMC traders said tomatoes are likely to remain costly for a few more days.
Muttu Bhupalil, a tomato grower from Govankoppa village in Dharwad district, said: “Six months ago when the price of tomatoes fell and I had to destroy the crop on my 2 acres of land, I suffered a lot. But now, I am enjoying better profits, although the tomato yield has been very low. Due to low yield, I am able to get only 60 to 70 boxes in an acre as against 100 to 120 boxes in normal season. Many tomato growers have lost their crops in the heavy rains,” he said.
Vijaykumar Rayagi, Senior Assistant Director, Horticulture Department, Hubli, admitted that due to unseasonal rains, there has been a big decline in tomato production. In Dharwad and other districts, tomato plants had rotted after heavy rains. “Since tomatoes can be grown throughout the year, farmers should take proper seed treatment to protect it from heavy and unseasonal rains,” he said.