The demand for tomato puree and ketchup has shot up by 40 per cent within a month as people have curtailed the use of tomatoes and prefer dishes that do not require much use of tomatoes, for example lady’s finger and pumpkin.
Industry body the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) on Wednesday said a survey by it has shown that the rise in the price of tomatoes has affected household budgets. About 78 per cent of households said they were finding it difficult to manage their budgets. The sudden rise in the price of tomatoes and pulses was squeezing families' finances to the lowest level.
According to government estimates, the country’s tomato output was pegged at 18.28 million tonnes (mt) in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June) as against 16.38 mt in the previous year. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha are the major tomato growing states.
The survey was conducted in major cities such as Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad where over 1,500 housewives took part. The maximum impact was felt in Delhi-NCR followed by Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
According to the survey, local grocers have also increased stocks of tomato puree/ ketchup. In the last two weeks there has been a rise in sales of puree and ketchup as one spends less on buying puree/ ketchup than a kilo of fresh tomatoes.
The rise in price of pulses has come as a double-shocker for customers. Vegetables are increasingly becoming ‘unaffordable’ as prices have skyrocketed, particularly in the metros and major cities, said D.S. Rawat, Secretary-General, Assocham.
Prices have gone up because of tight supply in the major growing states of the south where the rabi crop was damaged in the flowering stage on account of the severe drought. The price of tomatoes shot up to Rs 80-100 per kg, nearly double of what it was selling for just a month back. The average housewife is either giving it a miss or picking up just a quarter of a kilo.
About 56 per cent of the respondents said they have curtailed the use of tomatoes and prefer dishes that do not require much use of tomatoes, like lady’s finger or pumpkin, and some we substituting it with raw mango to get that sour taste.
Source: The Hindu Business Line