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Posted On: 5 October 2010 10:47 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Tomatoes getting out of reach

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Paper Boy
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Tomatoes are gradually slipping out of reach of the common man in the country as their prices continue to fluctuate in the retail market with some smaller outlets still charging up to QR15 per kg. In some bigger shopping complexes, though, better quality tomatoes were sold for a little over QR8.25 a kg. Small retailers are now talking of good and bad quality of tomatoes and say the stocks being imported contain a lot of rotten and unripe tomatoes so they have to sort them. The red ones, naturally, carry a premium, they say. Even the wholesale rates of tomatoes keep skyrocketing with each day passing. An eight-kg box was yesterday being sold at the central market for QR55. Wholesalers are now blaming crop failures due to excessive heat this season in exporting countries which they say are making supplies erratic and scarce. Tomatoes are an essential part of vegetable sandwiches but most small-time eateries are now serving sandwiches without them. Households and eateries using tomatoes in curry preparations have begun relying increasingly on either tomato paste or tinned versions which are still available at old rates. People say they wonder why the authorities concerned have not been taking any steps to control the price rise and urge the Consumer Protection Department at the Ministry of Business and Trade to swing into action and curb the price escalation of tomatoes.