A friend of ours was pleasantly surprised that NaturePinks had listed organic tomato at Rs. 26 a kg, while organic tomato typically retails in the 40-80 a kilo range. No, this is not an April 1st prank! Here is some background on how we manage to get the organic tomatoes to you at the price we do, and what goes into producing and pricing organic tomatoes at NaturePinks.
Our typical tomato types are Heem Sohna, US440 and native types like Arka Vikas. We are also trying our hand at cherry tomatoes this season. In most cases, we grow our own tomato plants from seed in our nursery.
The price of tomatoes at any point, just as for any other fruit or vegetable, depends on the yield and the pest damage the crop faces. The yield of tomatoes varies by season - so in a good season, the same area, the same inputs and the same efforts produce more tomatoes making them less pricey, while in a difficult season the limited crop output makes them expensive. Thus the supply determines the price of the produce - organic or non-organic.
Further every crop has a certain proportion lost to pests and diseases that impacts the crop output in a similar manner. In organic cultivation, the loss to pests and diseases follows dynamics different to chemically grown crops - organic methods and nature never eliminate a pest completely but only balance it out. What this means is that in our organic cultivation, we might have to forego a slightly larger portion of the produce most times. In chemical cultivation the pest would have been eliminated at least in the short run by a cheap off the shelf pesticide - of course, the toxic effects on our food are a concern in this approach. Especially in a juicy fruit as tomato that is often eaten raw, enough can never be said about the benefits of going organic.
So to get you a kilo of good quality organic tomato, we may have to sort from anything from a kilo to many kilos, depending on how much produce the pests have chosen to make a mark of their own on. All this translates into an extra cost for us and for you. On top of it, there is also additional manual effort involved in sorting just the good fruit from all of the produce, separate from the overall manual methods we employ.
Fortunately, we produce and market ourselves, so we manage to keep the prices reasonable. In the current season, we have a decent production of organic tomatoes with pest pressure being in reasonable levels, meaning we can pass on the benefit to bring organic tomatoes to you at a juicy price of 26 per kilo. With the above insight, you have no reason to wonder how organic tomatoes can be so affordable too.
To pick your share of organic tomatoes from our own gardens, head straight to BigBasket
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