Pune: As tomato rates in the wholesale markets fell steeply to around Rs 3-5 per kg, as the regular influx of the produce almost doubled, tomato farmers are a worried lot while the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) assured that this is a temporary fluctuation and prices will self correct over a week’s time.
Consumers, however, said that the benefit of the slump has not been noticed by them.
Deepak Bhise, member of the tomato growers association in Narayangaon, said, “This year, thankfully, the Narayangaon market produce was sold before this steep decline in prices.”
He further said, “However, as the yield was above normal, the rates the farmers of our market got were not even enough to cover the input costs.”
“The current produce is coming mostly from the Nashik market and the farmers there have seen tremendous losses,” he added.
“The inward of the Narayangaon market during the prime of the season in June, July and August was around 30 to 35 thousand crates each day. The higher influx meant that the farmers, who had spent around Rs 1 lakh as input costs, could hardly recover around Rs 90,000,” Bhise said, adding, “Even though the government had announced the TOP (Tomato, Onion and Potato) policy in the Union budget, no developments happened in the processing, storage or transport facilities. The ban on the export of tomato, too, meant that the domestic market was flooded with the produce.”
Noor Bagwan, who runs a family owned vegetable stall at Deccan Gymkhana corner, said that the rates had not changed much for them. “We are selling tomatoes at around Rs 40 per kg. We have not noticed any significant slump in the rates of the commodity,” he said, adding, “There has not been much change in the demand either as the regular customers are buying the same quantity and only a few are trying to bargain for lower prices.”
Ashwini Kasbe, a homemaker residing at Sinhagad Road, said that she did not find much difference in the prices. “I bought tomatoes at Rs 20 a kg at the local retailers shop. This is not a lot different than the prices that we buy tomatoes at usually.”
“If there are reports that there is a fall in the prices of tomatoes, we have not seen any relief on our end as of yet,” he added.
“This is a temporary situation in the Pune market as well as the other markets,” said BJ Deshmukh of the Pune APMC, adding, “The usual influx of the tomatoes is around 100 tonnes. This time, the influx almost doubled at around 200 tonnes and the rates fell. This has been the case in other markets as well. As the demand and supply self correct over the next week or so, the rates will self correct and stabilise too.”