Tomato prices expected to fall after higher supplies from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, says Centre

Tomatoes were initially sold at a retail price of ₹90 per kg which was reduced to ₹80 per kg from July 16 and further cut to ₹70 per kg from July 20

July 22, 2023 08:05 am | Updated 02:22 pm IST - New Delhi

The National Cooperative Consumers Federation and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation are continuously procuring tomatoes from ‘mandis’ in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Image for representation purpose only. File

The National Cooperative Consumers Federation and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation are continuously procuring tomatoes from ‘mandis’ in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Image for representation purpose only. File | Photo Credit: K. Bhagya Prakash

The government on July 21 said retail prices of tomatoes are expected to fall with a higher supply of new crops from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

The retail prices have shot up to ₹200-250 per kilogram in several parts of the country as the supply chain got disrupted due to monsoon rains and other issues.

In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, "Prices of tomato are expected to come down with the increase in the arrival of new crop from Nashik, Naryangaon and Aurangabad belt in Maharashtra and also from Madhya Pradesh."

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He said the "current increase in tomato prices may incentivise farmers to grow more tomato crop which is expected to stabilise the prices in coming months".

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Mr. Choubey attributed the recent increase in prices to a combination of factors like "crop seasonality, white fly disease in Kolar [Karnataka], instantaneous arrival of monsoon rains in the northern part of the country which adversely affected tomato crops in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh and logistics disruptions in isolated areas due to heavy rains."

In response to a question by independent member Kartikeya Sharma, the Minister informed that the average daily retail price of tomato had crossed ₹150 per kg in Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands during the week July 10-16.

As on July 18, the average retail price in Delhi declined to ₹130 per kg and to ₹127.70 per kg in Punjab.

In order to check the prices of tomatoes and make them affordable, the government has started their procurement under Price Stabilisation Fund and is making them available at a highly subsidised rate to consumers.

Also Read | Govt cuts price of subsidised tomato to ₹70 per kg

The National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) are continuously procuring tomatoes from 'mandis' in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, and making them available at affordable prices in major consuming centres in Delhi-NCR, Bihar and Rajasthan, among other places.

Tomatoes were initially sold at a retail price of ₹90 per kg which was reduced to ₹80 per kg from July 16 and further cut to ₹70 per kg from July 20.

Till July 18, a total of 391 tonnes of tomatoes had been procured for continuous retail disposal in major consumption centres for the benefit of consumers.

The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DAFW) is implementing Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) to protect the growers of perishable agri-horticultural commodities from making distress sales in the event of a bumper crop during the peak arrival period when the prices tend to fall below economic levels and cost of production.

"Under the scheme, the loss on account of the fall in price is borne between the Central Government and State Government on 50:50 basis.

"Since the inception of MIS till date, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has not received any proposal from State Governments for market intervention to address distress sale of tomato," the Minister said.

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