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Uttar Pradesh: Vegetable Vendor Recruits Bouncers to Safeguard Tomatoes

Due to limited supplies caused by rainfall in several regions, the retail prices of tomatoes witnessed a significant increase across the country, reaching as high as ₹162 per kg on Thursday. Among the metropolitan cities, Kolkata recorded the highest retail price of tomatoes at ₹152 per kg, followed by Delhi at ₹120 per kg, Chennai at ₹117 per kg, and Mumbai at ₹108 per kg, as per the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs.

Shivangi Rai
Vegetable Seller in Varanasi Hires Bouncers to Guard Tomatoes to Avoid Looting. (Image Courtesy- @Vishnu_talkzz/Twitter)
Vegetable Seller in Varanasi Hires Bouncers to Guard Tomatoes to Avoid Looting. (Image Courtesy- @Vishnu_talkzz/Twitter)

A vegetable vendor in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has taken the unusual step of hiring bouncers to maintain order and prevent any conflicts among customers amid the skyrocketing prices of tomatoes.

The vendor, identified as Ajay Fauji, explained that the exorbitant tomato prices have led to instances of violence and even theft. To ensure a peaceful shopping experience and avoid any confrontations, bouncers have been employed at the shop, said a media report. 

Currently, tomatoes are being sold at Rs 160 per kilogram, and customers are resorting to purchasing small quantities such as 50 or 100 grams.

Mc Donald's Dropped Tomatoes From its Burger and Wraps

Following the surge in tomato prices across the country, McDonald's, a prominent fast-food chain, has decided to remove tomatoes from its burgers and wraps in various regions.

The company cited difficulties in sourcing tomatoes that meet their quality standards due to seasonal challenges. Tomato prices have reached unprecedented levels, reaching as high as Rs 200 per kilogram in certain markets.

McDonald's India - North and East acknowledged the issue and expressed its commitment to resolving the situation by implementing sustainable agricultural practices.

A spokesperson for the company stated that the current shortage of tomatoes meeting their quality specifications has compelled them to temporarily hold off on including tomatoes in their menu items, aiming to ensure the consistent delivery of the high-quality products they are known for.

Tomato Price Rise Across India

Retail prices of tomatoes soared up to ₹162 per kg on Thursday across the nation due to limited supplies caused by rainfall in several parts. Among metros, retail tomato prices remained highest at ₹152 per kg in Kolkata, followed by ₹120 per kg in Delhi, ₹108 per kg in Mumbai, and ₹117 per kg in Chennai, according to the data maintained by the Consumer Affairs Ministry.

On Thursday, the all-India average retail tomato price was ruling at ₹95.58 per kg.

Market Intelligence and Analytics calculated the average cost of a thali based on input prices prevailing in north, south, east and west India.

Further, the report elaborated that tur and gram prices increased by 3 per cent sequentially in June, contributing to the hike in thali prices.

However, the cost of both veg and non-veg thalis declined by 5 per cent in June 2023, compared to the same month last year due to a steep decline in prices of vegetables and cooking oil, which account for 25 per cent of the total cost of a veg thali.

The report noted that the rise in prices of pulses, cereals, and chicken further capped the fall in thali prices year-on-year.

The decline in thali cost was supported by a year-on-year fall of 15 per cent in onion and potato prices and 20 per cent in cooking oil prices in June, it explained.

As per reports, the significant increase of 9 percent in the prices of wheat atta (flour) in June has contributed to the limited decrease in the overall cost of a thali (meal).

Meanwhile, the rising prices of rice and pulses, which saw an increase of 12 percent and 8 percent year-on-year respectively, have further hindered the decline in the cost of a vegetarian thali.

Similarly, broiler prices have experienced a slight decrease of up to 4 percent year-on-year, which has supported the reduction in the cost of a non-vegetarian thali, as highlighted in the report.

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