Middle-class households, under pressure from salary cuts, job losses and slack business, are bewildered how to prepare a proper meal by avoiding these basic ingredients. “Whether vegetarian or not, nearly all recipes call for these items. Coriander has gone off the table since it spiralled to Rs20 for a bunch in April-May,” said Ananth Nair, a small entrepreneur from Khar.
Kalyan and Vashi wholesale trader Mangal Gupta, a farmer, said, “The price rise is due to uncertainty in market, which deterred farmers from planting tomato. Coupled with heavy rain in Maharashtra, this hit production. Rates will be normal in a month, around Dusshera, as farmers sow cucumber and tomato in mid-August. It is a 60-day cycle for tomato.”
The wholesale price at Vashi market was Rs35-40/kg against Rs10-20 a month back.
APMC Vashi wholesale traders attributed the spike in cost of tomato to heavy rain in major production areas of Maharashtra and Karnataka that damaged the crop. With scanty supply and increasing demand after the lockdown was relaxed, prices soared in wholesale and retail markets.