Not Just Tomato Prices, Chilli And Ginger Prices Also To Surge

Tomatoes have been stealing the spotlight in the last few weeks as their prices climb, but this trend is set to spread to other Indian kitchen stapes as prices of green chillies, ginger and other vegetables are also starting to shoot up. 

As reported by TOI, the price of green chillies in Kolkata is averaging ₹300-350/kg compared to the ₹150/kg a week ago. This 30-35% increase was attributed to a drastic drop in the quantity of chillies being delivered, according to a Koyambedu wholesale market trader T Muthukumar.

Prices in other states are also climbing with Odisha quoting ₹140-160/kg for tomatoes, around ₹200/kg for chillies and even ginger going for ₹300/kg. According to ANI, in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh tomato prices sat at around ₹150/kg this week.

In Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Congress officials protested this price hike by going to the city’s 5 Number Market to buy tomatoes with a briefcase and a fake gun to illustrate that right now tomatoes are precious cargo in need of protection.

But the price surge has not been limited to tomatoes alone; according to the Times Of India, other vegetables have also experienced a significant increase in prices. Cauliflower, cabbage, and ladyfinger, among others, have seen a sharp rise. For instance, cauliflower has reached ₹60 per kilogram, a substantial increase from ₹40 per kilogram recorded in early May. Similarly, cabbage prices have escalated to ₹60 per kilogram, compared to the ₹30-40 per kilogram range seen earlier. The prices of potatoes and onions have also witnessed a slight hike, with a rise from ₹20 per kilogram in early May to ₹30 per kilogram as of July.

This surge in prices for tomatoes and many of these other crops was primarily attributed to a combination of adverse weather conditions. A crippling heatwave, followed by heavy rains coinciding with the onset of monsoons, has resulted in crop failures across the country, leading to a scarcity of these essential kitchen ingredients.

With the supply of tomatoes, chillies, and ginger dwindling significantly due to crop failures, the demand has outpaced the availability, thereby causing a sharp increase in their prices. This situation has created financial difficulties for the common man, as these vegetables are essential components of everyday Indian cuisine.

The rising prices of these vegetables not only impact household budgets but also pose challenges for the hospitality and food industry, leading to higher costs of production and subsequently increasing the prices of prepared meals and food products. However, Government sources have stated that the surge is likely temporary due to the high perishability of these items during the rains and that the market should level out in the weeks to come.