The retail price of tomatoes has shot up in various districts of Karnataka especially in Bengaluru after a supply crunch due to incessant rains. The price of tomatoes touched Rs 60 per kg at some places in Bengaluru from Rs 10 or Rs 15 per kg. Traders say that if the same situation continues, the price will be close to Rs 100 in the state capital.

The sudden rise in the price is due to a shortage in supply from the surrounding rural areas of Bengaluru and Maharashtra. In the month of September, the maximum price of tomato hovered around Rs 15 per kg.

Incessant rains over a month in neighbouring districts of Chikkaballapur, Kolar and Bengaluru Rural and low temperatures in the region have hit the tomato crop hard. Farmers are unable to cultivate tomatoes as their lands are wet due to continuous rains and they say that the situation has affected 50 per cent of the production of the crop.

There is a 40 per cent reduction in the arrival of tomatoes from Kolar, Chintamani, Doddaballapur, Chikkaballapur, Malur, Magadi and other surrounding areas to APMC. "We are also not getting tomatoes from the various parts of Maharashtra. Due to an increase in the demand, the prices are moving upwards," says Gopi, Vegetable Sellers Association President.

"If the same climate continues, the tomatoes rate will touch close to Rs 100," he says.

Sources in the Horticultural Producers Cooperative Marketing Processing Society (HOPCOMS), explained that every day there was an arrival of 2 tonnes of tomatoes and now the supply is decreasing for over a week. Due to the shortage of supply, the prices have shot up. If the trend continues, tomatoes are all set to burn the pockets of the common man, they say.