As the nation continues to grapple with soaring tomato prices, another blow hits consumers as reports surface of steep price hikes in chilli and ginger. In certain parts of India, chilli and ginger prices have skyrocketed to nearly Rs 400 per kilogram, causing widespread concern.
Chennai, for instance, witnessed green chilli prices reaching Rs 100 per kilogram, while Kolkata experienced an even more dramatic surge, with green chillies and ginger selling for an exorbitant Rs 350 per kilogram, as reported by the Times of India.
According to traders at the Koyambedu wholesale market, the surge in prices can be attributed to a sharp decline in chilli arrivals over the past few days. Last week, the quantity of green chillies plummeted to a mere 80 tonnes, while the daily requirement in Chennai stands at approximately 200 tonnes. To meet this demand, the majority of chillies are typically sourced from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. However, the shortage of green chillies has led to increased demand and subsequently resulted in price hikes.
Farmers in Andhra Pradesh faced disappointment during the previous harvest when they failed to fetch satisfactory prices for their chillies. Consequently, many farmers shifted to cultivating alternative crops. As a consequence, the green chillies arriving at the Koyambedu market are predominantly from Karnataka.
In addition to the surge in chilli and ginger prices, green peas have also become considerably expensive, retailing for as much as Rs 280 per kilogram. However, due to the high prices, demand for green peas remains relatively low, as most consumers opt to forgo purchasing them.
Traders anticipate that the demand for chillies will persist, even if prices continue to rise, as people have become accustomed to including them in their daily meals. This high demand has created a challenging situation for consumers, who are already grappling with the impact of rising food prices.
As of June 30, the Department of Consumer Affairs reported that the average retail price of tomatoes in India stood at Rs 56.58 per kilogram, based on the data released last week. The modal price stood at Rs 100 per kilogram, with the maximum price reaching Rs 123 per kilogram.
In major cities across India, the retail price of tomatoes varied, with Delhi recording Rs 80 per kilogram, Mumbai at Rs 48 per kilogram, Kolkata at Rs 105 per kilogram, and Chennai at Rs 88 per kilogram. Bengaluru reported prices of Rs 54 per kilogram, while Bhopal and Lucknow each recorded Rs 100 per kilogram. Shimla saw tomatoes priced at Rs 80 per kilogram, Bhubaneshwar at Rs 98 per kilogram, and Raipur at Rs 99 per kilogram.
As the inflation crisis persists and prices of essential commodities continue to surge, consumers across the country are left grappling with the challenges of managing their daily expenses.