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Tomato price soars, Rs. 130 per kg in retail



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By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, Sept. 27: The price of tomatoes has skyrocketed in the Kathmandu Valley over the past few days.
According to the Kalimati Fruit and Vegetable Market Development Board (KFVMDB), the wholesale price of tomatoes, one of the most essential vegetables, jumped to Rs. 100 per kilogram on Saturday while it was only Rs. 50 two weeks ago. It shows that the price of tomatoes doubled within two weeks.
However, the price of a kilogram of tomatoes has reached over Rs. 130 in retail vegetable shops in the valley at present.
Deputy Director and information officer of KFVMDB, Binaya Shrestha, said that the price of tomatoes has been skyrocketing in the market due to short supply from the farms.
Only around 15-20 tonnes of tomatoes are being supplied to Kalimati market on a daily basis over the last one week while around 80 tonnes of tomatoes used to enter the market daily the same period a year ago.
All vegetable items, including potatoes, beans, bitter gourds and okra, have been dearer due to the heavy fall in supply because of low production, he said.
“It is natural for vegetable price to increase in the market because of the situation of imbalance between demand and supply. Price has gone up at the level of farmers at present,” he said.
He said that the farmers were getting up to Rs. 80-90 for a kilogram of their tomatoes at present.
Currently, tomatoes are being supplied mainly from Kathmandu, Kavrepalanchok, Dhading and Makwanpur districts.
Deepak Dhakal, a farmer of Sirutar of Bhaktapur, said that tomato was being sold at Rs. 90 per kilogram from the farm.
This time, the farmers are getting a good price for their tomatoes, he said. He, however, said that the production was only about half that of last year.

Bhagawan Chandra Upreti, a wholesaler of Kalimati market, said that the market had been reeling under a short supply, leading to rise in prices.
He said that the price of tomatoes would increase further until and unless new production from farms arrived in the market.
Sarita Timalsina, a consumer of Balkot, Bhaktapur, said that soaring price of vegetables, including tomatoes, had hit hard the consumers to manage kitchen expenses at this abnormal situation of COVID-19 as the income of people had been affected due to the impact of COVID-19.
She said that she bought only half a kilogram of tomatoes at Rs. 65 in retail market due to its price hike.
She asked the government to monitor the retail market and control artificial price hike of vegetables by the traders.
“We, the consumers, have been deceived by traders for one reason or another. The price of onion has gone up to Rs. 130 per kg due to black marketing practices of the traders. Now, the price of tomatoes has increased in the name of short supply,” she said.