With the hike in tomato prices, consumers have switched to tamarind, as an alternative to tomatoes, increasing the sale of tamarind in the past couple of weeks in the district.
KURNOOL: There seems to be no relief for the common man as tomato prices see no sign of ebbing. The retail prices of the kitchen staple have shot up to Rs 140-Rs 150 per kilo at the retail markets and Rs 110 per kilo at the government-run Rythu Bazaar located at C Camp in Kurnool district on Wednesday.
It may be noted that tomato prices have been skyrocketing ever since the beginning of the season. The tomato prices were Rs 9 per kilo at Pathikonda wholesale market a few months back. In May, the tomato prices were Rs 25 per kg in wholesale markets.
According to the traders, the hike in prices may continue till July last week and may also cross Rs 170 per kg.
Pathikonda market yard secretary M Sreenivasulu said, “I have never seen such a hike in prices in the past 27 years. With the non-availability of tomatoes in almost all the states, the tomato merchants here have been exporting 100 quintals per day regularly.”
“The government is providing subsidised tomatoes at Rs 50 per kg at Rythu Bazaar. Even we are unable to supply adequate amount due to fewer imports,” said C Camp Rythu bazar estate officer T Harish Kumar. He added they have been importing 4-6 tonnes from the Madanapalle market and supplying to Kurnool from a special counter at Rs 50 per kg for every alternative day.
Consumers turn to tamarind
With the hike in tomato prices, consumers have switched to tamarind, as an alternative to tomatoes. This in turn has increased the sale of tamarind in the past couple of weeks as well in the district.
A merchant from the Kurnool district, Gunda Madhu, said, “At least 10-15 per cent of tamarind sales have increased in the span of a week. Usually, 10 kg of tamarind is sold in a day, but on Wednesday, more than 15 kg was sold at prices of Rs 120-Rs 150 per kg.”