Residents and hoteliers in Madurai are grappling with soaring vegetable prices, especially tomatoes, which continue to hover around 100/kg across the state. The surge in tomato prices has also impacted the cost of other vegetables such as shallots, beans, and garlic, as the low supply fails to meet the demand. "Compared to the previous month, the prices of most vegetables, including ginger and tomatoes, have increased. The supply has been affected, and since it is not a festive season, the demand is also low this month. We anticipate that the rates will only decrease after at least 10-15 days," said P S Murugan, president of the Madurai Central Vegetable Market Wholesale Traders Association. As of Tuesday, tomatoes were being sold at 100-110/kg in retail. To counter the skyrocketing prices, the state government has announced the sale of tomatoes at Fair Price shops for 60/kg.
S Murugeswari, a tomato seller at the 'Thayir market' on East Market Street, said that she sourced tomatoes from Andhra Pradesh. "Unless there is sufficient local supply, tomato prices are unlikely to decrease. Tomatoes are a kitchen staple, so the demand will always be high," she added. Another vegetable trader, B Muthulakshmi, noted that due to the impact of high tomato prices and a decrease in supply, the prices of other vegetables such as beans, green chillies, soya beans, butter beans, shallots, and even coriander leaves have increased. "Some retail vendors are also inflating the prices of all vegetables by 5 or 10 above the market price, citing the rise in tomato prices," R Nivethitha, a resident of Simmakkal, expressed her concerns. Hoteliers are also grappling with the current situation. "Hotels cannot increase the prices of food items in any way, as many are already struggling due to the dry spell after reopening educational institutions. The increase in prices will lead to long-term losses. The government must take necessary measures to control prices," said K L Kumar, president of the Madurai District Hotels Association.
The surge in tomato prices has also impacted the cost of other vegetables such as shallots, beans, and garlic, as the low supply fails to meet the demand.
The prices of other vegetables such as beans, green chillies, soya beans, butter beans, shallots, and even coriander leaves have increased.
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