High onion, potato, tomato prices pinch household budgets: survey

Retail prices of essential vegetables, especially tomato, potato and onion, have sky rocketed across India in the last two months, upsetting household budgets when earnings have been impacted due to the pandemic.

According to a survey conducted by LocalCircles, 71% of citizens said they were paying more than ₹50 per kg for tomato, ₹40 per kg for potato and ₹50 per kg for onion.

In comparison, according to a similar survey conducted by the same entity and published on September 11, 2020, 61% households had said they were paying more than ₹60 per kg for tomato, ₹30 per kg for potato and ₹25 per kg for onion.

Thus the average retail price the majority of households paid per kg for potato rose by 30% and onion rose by 100%, while the price for tomato fell by 15% in just one month.

“The individual data on these three vegetables suggests that 42% citizens bought tomato at ₹60 or higher, potato at ₹60 or higher, and onions at ₹70 or higher,” the findings said.

“Whereas, 29% citizens said they bought a kilo of tomato at ₹50-59, potato at ₹40-59, and onion at ₹50-69”, while 11% said to have bought tomato at ₹30-49, potato at ₹20-39, and onion at ₹30-49, only 6% citizens said they bought tomato at ₹20 or lower, potato at ₹19 or lower, and onion at ₹29 or lower in some places, the survey found.

The survey received more than 16,000 responses from citizens across 242 districts of India. Of which, 58% were from tier 1, 23% from tier 2, and 17% respondents were from tier 3, 4 and rural districts.

In October, Mumbai witnessed record high prices of these essential vegetables with onion selling at ₹130 a kg, potato ₹60 a kg and tomato at ₹60 kg.

The prices of these perishable vegetables go up in the retail market at different States due to several factors including disrupted supplies.

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