This summer everyday vegetables and most common cuisine of Indian home – Daal (pulse) to wrack the family budget. A triple whammy for people as price of tomato and potatoes, alongside pulses got a hike.
In the last two years, arhar prices have doubled and urad price have increased by around 120%. Even gram (chana dal), which is produced in large quantities and doesn't usually go ballistic, has climbed up to 85%.
Although it was clear by January that production of pulses was going to be hit because of last year's drought, government efforts to build stocks were ineffective. The case of the two everyday vegetables — potatoes and tomatoes —both have also seen prices surge.
Tomatoes are ripe for harvesting 60-70 days after transplanting while potatoes take 75-120 days to mature. The tomatoes coming to the market now were planted around March. Temperature was unusually high in that period; the crop destruction was not surprising.
In any case, tomato farming is not completely dependent on rains. As a result, the agriculture ministry's second advanced estimates for horticultural crops had pegged the tomato crop for 2015-16 at 18.2 million metric tonne, up from the previous year's 16.4 million metric tonne.
Potato production was estimated to dip this year to about 46 million tonne from the previous year's 48 million tonne. A portion of each year's harvest goes into cold storages across the country and comes out for the market later.It is not simply a matter of supply and demand; another factor that has put the squeeze on potato supply this year is the blight that swept across potato fields in Bengal.