Tomato Crisis in India: Prices Soar 300% Due to Extreme Weather Conditions

India Faces Tomato Crisis as Prices Skyrocket

Extreme Weather Conditions Cause Tomato Prices to Surge

India is facing a tomato crisis as prices have skyrocketed more than 300% due to extreme weather conditions.

Tomato prices surged 341% year-to-date, from 24.68 rupees per kg to 108.92 rupees per kg as of July 11, according to data from the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Flooding in major tomato producing states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka has been a key driver of the price surge, according to India’s National Institute of Biotic Stresses Management.

“Due to excess rainfall in these states, tomato crops have been highly affected… A large part of the tomato crop has been destroyed due to rains and floods,” the council stated.

Importance of Tomatoes in Indian Cuisine

India is the second largest producer of tomatoes in the world, and tomatoes are an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine.

Popular Indian dishes like Masala and Andhra Tomato Kura heavily rely on tomatoes as a key ingredient.

Farmers Face Theft, McDonald’s Drops Tomatoes from Menu

Local farmers have reported large-scale thefts of their tomato crops.

Several McDonald’s outlets in India have decided to remove tomatoes from their menu due to the seasonal problem.

The government has organized a Tomato Grand Challenge Hackathon to generate new ideas to improve India’s tomato value chain and lower prices.

Predictions for Tomato Prices

Tomato prices generally soar during the growing season of June and July before the August harvest period.

The rise of the tomato mosaic virus and late start to the southwest monsoon have negatively impacted tomato production.

Prices of tomatoes, onions, and potatoes are highly volatile and face relatively inelastic demand as they are staples consumed by Indian locals.

Analysts predict that the summer crop supplies arriving next month and administrative measures, including higher imports, could help calm prices.

Impact on Inflation and Forecast

Compared to July last year, tomato prices have surged 166% according to government data. India’s inflation rate is expected to rise 4.58% year-on-year in June, driven by soaring food prices.

However, with the upcoming tomato harvesting season in August, prices are expected to simmer down and provide some relief.

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