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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Food inflation is gradually shooting up due to rains

In a sudden and sharp rise in parts of the city, the price of tomatoes has jumped to Rs 80–110 per kg from Rs 30 earlier in June and July.

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Image: PTI

Due to excessive rainfall, the crops got damaged, and that has affected the average retail prices for vegetables and essential commodities. The rates shot up to Rs 120–140 per kg from Rs 60–80 in Mumbai. Some traders blamed rising fuel and transportation costs for the price rise, while others blamed the rain. 

In a sudden and sharp rise in parts of the city, the price of tomatoes has jumped to Rs 80–110 per kg from Rs 30 earlier in June and July. It is expected to be at a higher level. Traders blame rain and crop losses for this surge and warn that the situation is likely to remain through July. Amid the monsoon season, rates of other items have escalated too, with coriander at Rs 100 per big bunch, green chillies at Rs 200 per kg, and French beans at Rs 180–200.

In all crucial vegetable markets, the wholesale price of many seasonal vegetables has gone through the roof. The prices of many vegetables that were selling for Rs 50 a few weeks ago have crossed Rs 100, which will further rise as they reach the end consumer through retail sellers. Over the same period of time, the prices of other vegetables have increased four-fold. As a result, even retail traders are hesitant to purchase stocks from the wholesale market due to inflated prices. Amid a surge in tomato prices across several cities, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs has said that it is a “temporary issue” and is not unusual this time of the year.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh said, “Tomatoes and some vegetables are highly perishable commodities. Due to sudden heavy rains, transportation becomes difficult, and sometimes the long halt in areas that received sudden rains spoils the loaded stock of transport. It is a temporary issue. Prices will come down soon; just natural calamities have to settle a bit. Tomato prices in the last five years show that the cost increased every year around this time.”

Ramling Shere, a farmer from Latur, Maharashtra, said, “Local farmers have been harmed by the rain and storm; the seasonal rainfall and storms have harmed the crops. Traders at vegetable markets are worried due to the lack of local supply of seasonal vegetables and relying on vegetables coming from Maharashtra.”

Dayaji Shinde, a vegetable harvester from Vasai, told Afternoon Voice, “The local farmers’ produce was destroyed by the recent rains, preventing it from reaching the local market. As a result, most vegetables, including tomatoes, are now being sourced from Bangalore, Nashik, and Himachal Pradesh to Maharashtra. Due to the influx of vegetables from outside the state, the prices have gone up. The farmers hardly get any compensation for their losses. How do you expect them to take a risk every time by producing vegetables in adverse situations?”

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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