Good sentiment for tomato prices raises hopes for Jaipur farmers


Jaipur, Thursday, July 6, 2017: Pre-monsoon showers, strike by farmers in some states resulting in shortage of supply of tomatoes, has led to a sharp rise of retail and wholesale prices of the vegetable over the last one month. Prices of tomato, a key kitchen ingredient, has almost doubled in the last one month to Rs 30 a kilogram (kg) from Rs 6 per kg during the last season. A further rise in the tomato prices is expected in the coming weeks.

In Rajasthan, tomato is grown all year round, which makes it the natural state for traders to seek supplies. Also, since the state lies between north and west India, tomato is exported to Patna and Delhi by road. The advantage of geography, ideal weather and abundant farm lands make Rajasthan an ideal place to grow tomatoes.

Sitaram Jaat, a tomato farmer from Kaat district said, "The tomatoes we produce are quite durable and can be easily transported without the concern of being squashed. Our tomatoes are mainly transported to Madhya Pradesh, Delhi & Bihar for which we fetched good returns this season".

Speaking about increase in prices Mr. Jaat added, "Month of Shravan is set to begin from July 10. During this period, many Hindus avoid onion and garlic and rely mostly on tomatoes. Given this scenario, we farmers expect the price to remain high till August end."

It is estimated that tomato produce would decline in key tomato producing states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh by 20-30% in 2016-17. India’s tomato production is estimated to decline by 15% to approximately 15 million tonnes for 2016-17, year-on-year.

Godharam Jaat, a well-known wholesaler from Shahpur Sabzi Mandi said, "Tomato has always been a cash crop for farmers in Rajasthan. This increase in prices will definitively benefit farmers who are sowing tomatoes in this season. They are expected to earn much higher profits compared to last year."

Due to increased prices and good expectations of monsoon, farmers in Jaipur and neighbouring regions have chosen to sow tomato over onion and potato. These farmers who will harvest fresh crops in November will experience higher yields due to monsoon and good prices.