Tomatoes have suddenly become dearer in Hyderabad with the prices increasing more than three-fold in just a month. If Rs 15 got a kilo of tomato towards March-end, the prices started to rise to Rs 32 by April 1. On Sunday, while Rythu Bazars sold it for Rs 50 a kilo, retail outlets and small shops in residential areas priced it at Rs 70-75. There were some instances wherein traders demanded Rs 60 a kg.

Farmers and vegetable sellers at Rythu Bazars are apprehensive of the prices escalating as the summer peaks in May. They blame the heat for the rising prices, which resulted in drop in production and subsequent supply crunch. “Since the month began, there has been water scarcity and it impacted cultivation. As a result, tomato production dwindled and the supply was reduced,” J Shekar, a farmer, said.

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Usually, price adjustments happen in April and May as the summer and resultant water scarcity end up hurting tomato cultivation and its produce. But, this time, tomatoes have become more expensive compared to last year as a kilo during the same period (April 29, 2018) was sold for Rs 15 at Erragadda Rythu Bazaar.

According to vendors, the production from Rangareddy, Medak, Mahabubnagar, Vikarabad and other parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has slumped. This impacted the supplies to Hyderabad and the quantities of tomatoes entering the markets of Bowenpally, LB Nagar, Mehdipatnam, Kukatpally and Erragadda, among others, have come down.

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It is not just tomato, but prices of other vegetables too have shot up sharply. On Sunday, the price of green chilli was Rs 50 a kg, capsicum Rs 50 a kg, ribbed gourd Rs 50 a kg, French beans Rs 75 a kg and field beans Rs 40 a kg. #KhabarLive