Tomato prices double in a month in Capital

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 7, 2015-

Tomato prices have doubled in the Kathmandu valley over the past month, with the vegetable retailing at Rs80 per kg. The wholesale price of small tomatoes soared 80 percent to Rs45 per kg on Sunday from Rs25 a month ago at the Kalimati vegetable market, while big tomatoes were selling at Rs52 per kg from Rs40.

Traders attributed the price hike to short supply as a result of low production in hill areas, transportation problems in Tarai districts, and India-imposed trade blockade.

Khoj Raj Katuwal, president of Nepal Tunnel Farmers Association, said low production in major tunnel farming areas due to the chilly weather affected supplies. “The production remains low during this time of the year in most hill areas, while tomatoes produced in Tarai have not arrived in the market,” he said, adding the production in hill areas has dropped by around 33 percent.

Products from Kathmandu and surrounding areas like Thankot, Balambu, Mulpani, Jitpurphedi, Kirtipur, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur fulfil 90 percent of the valley’s demand for tomatoes during this time of the year. Traders, however, said the price may come down in the next two weeks. “The prices of smaller ones are coming down gradually with the shipments from the Tarai arriving. We hope it will come down in 10-15 days,” said Katuwal.

He said supplies from India were also arriving. Most of the small tomatoes sold in the valley are sourced domestically, while bigger ones are imported from India, traders said.

Meanwhile, potato prices have started to drop, with new crops arriving in the market. Red potato was traded at Rs28 per kg on Sunday from Rs36 per kg a month ago. The wholesale price of white potato has dropped to Rs22 from Rs28.  Traders said the market was receiving large shipments from the main potato supplier areas like Sankhu, Panauti, Mude, among others.

Published: 07-12-2015 08:43

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