Hyderabad: The firecracker market might be slightly dull this Diwali, but in vegetable markets across the city, tomato and its close companion, the onion, are making enough and more noise. Prices of both are witnessing a surge, just like what happened after the rains in June-July. While the price of one kg of tomato has shot up from Rs 18 in the first week of October to Rs 60 now, that of a kg of onion has soared from Rs 20 –Rs 25 to around Rs 50 now.
And as in June-July, rains are the villains, with the recent incessant and heavy downpour said to have caused widespread damage, and a subsequent drop in supply of the fruit to city markets. Tomatoes in the city’s markets come from nearby districts including Ranga Reddy, Vikarabad, Yadadri and Nalgonda districts and from the city outskirts as well. Farmers in all these places have been hit hard by the downpour, with the prices going up as a result. While the prices in vegetable markets are in the range of Rs 60 to Rs 65 per kg, those in retail and supermarkets have crossed Rs 70. Traders believe that if the rains continue for another week, the prices could go up even higher.
The rise in onion prices too has been attributed to the rains, with farmers complaining of widespread crop damage in Kurnool, Madanapelli in Anantapur of Andhra Pradesh and Gadwal and Alampur in Telangana. “Heavy rains in the Telangana particularly in Ranga Reddy damaged the tomato crop. Farmers from nearby districts are bringing in good crop but the price is not under control,” says E Sravanthi Reddy, Estate Officer, Kothapet Vegetable market.
“The price upsurge will be there up for another 15 days and are likely to stabilise as soon as crop from other districts and States reach the city markets,” says Padma Harsha, Deputy Director (Marketing), Bowenpally market.