The sky high retail prices of tomatoes are expected to start easing due to an increase in supply following the arrival of new crops from Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said in a statement.
Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Ashwini Kumar Choubey said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha “Tomato prices are expected to come down with increased arrival of new crop from Nashik, Naryangaon and Aurangabad region of Maharashtra as well as Madhya Pradesh, Tomatoes were initially sold at a retail price of ₹90/kg, which was reduced to ₹80/kg from July 16 and further reduced to ₹70/kg from July 20”.
The National Consumer Cooperative Federation (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) have been procuring tomatoes from mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra and making the vegetable available at subsidized prices in major consumer centers in Delhi-NCR, Bihar, Rajasthan, among others, the ministry said.
The ministry said the current increase in tomato prices may motivate farmers to grow more vegetables, which will also help stabilize future prices. The Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (DAFW) is introducing the Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) to protect growers of perishable horticultural commodities from resorting to emergency sales in the event of peak harvest when prices tend to fall below economic levels and production costs.
He said “Under this scheme, the loss due to fall in price is borne between the central government and the state government in the ratio of 50:50. Since the inception of MIS till date, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers has not received any proposal from the state governments for market interventions to address the distressed sale of tomatoes”.