Incessant rain in the tomato belt of Nashik over the last few days has hit crop production, and this is expected to pinch supplies and keep prices high in the next months.
Tomato growers in the region are, therefore, not too worried about suspension of trade with Pakistan, which is an important export destination for tomatoes produced in Nashik and Pimpalgaon.
Traders and growers from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and other states send their produce to Pakistan via the road route through Wagha border. During the 2018-19 financial year, over 1 lakh tonne of tomatoes were sent to Pakistan, mostly via the road route.
Last year, the suspension of trade had led to prices crashing in the summer months. But this year, the lingering effect of last year’s drought has affected both production and supply of tomatoes, and ensured that prices remained on the higher side throughout rabi season.
Suspension of trade with Pakistan will not have much effect on prices, said Shriram Gadhave, president of the Vegetable Growers Association of India, adding, “Rain has affected the produce in Nashik and overall supply will be low.”
The price of tomatoes will rise in wholesale and retail markets, said Gadhave. “Heavy rain has led to a 10-15 per cent loss in production, and this will affect prices too,” he said
Growers from Junnar region supply tomatoes during the summer, after which growers from Nashik take over the supply. Nashik has nearly 1.5 lakh acres of tomato farms, most of them in the talukas of Kalvan, Niphad, Satana and Sinnar.
Over the last seven days, prices in the Narayangaon market have dropped to Rs 25-30 per kg as incessant rains have taken a toll on the quality of the produce. Tomatoes from Nashik are expected to reach the market later in August.