Amid High Tomato Prices, Suniel Shetty Admits He Had To Cut Down

The rising tomato prices have impacted everyone from international fast food chains to your next-door neighbour. And it seems that even Bollywood celebs are feeling the crunch. Actor Suniel Shetty recently admitted, in an interview with Aaj Tak, that the way he’s eating at home has also changed since the tomato shortage has set in. 

“My wife Mana only buys vegetables for one or two days, we believe in eating fresh produce.” says Shetty, “The prices for tomatoes are skyrocketing these days, and this has affected our kitchen as well. I eat fewer tomatoes these days. People might think that since I’m a superstar, these things wouldn’t affect me. But that isn’t true, we have to deal with such issues as well.' 

He also says that they’ve started buying their groceries online over going to the market since the prices are better. “If you look at the prices on these apps, you’ll be shocked.” he says, “They’re cheaper than all shops and markets. I order from the app, but not because it’s cheaper, but because they sell fresh produce. They even tell you where the vegetables were grown, and farmers get direct benefits…”

Shetty also understands the world of food better than most celebs as he was a restauranteur before he even entered Bollywood and is still the owner of H2O Liquid Lounge in Mumbai. “I am also a restaurateur, and I’ve always bargained for best prices. But with rising prices of tomatoes, people have had to compromise on taste and quality. I have too.”

The tomato crisis this year was brought on by a combination of extreme weather, the consecutive heat wave and unexpectedly intense monsoons caused a pest issue and viruses that destroyed a large sector of the crops. As of Wednesday, the average retail price of tomatoes across India was set at ₹111.71 per kg with the maximum increase price being ₹203 per kg in Bathinda, Punjab and the minimum being ₹34 per kg in Bidar, Karnataka. 

Costs are still on the rise and it seems like the only respite will come with the next growing season. To combat this the central government issued a directive instructing its agencies, namely NAFED and NCCF, to promptly acquire the essential vegetable from agricultural markets in major cultivating states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.