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Andhra Pradesh Aids Centre in Tomato Procurement through NAFED

The Andhra Pradesh government's proactive measures, in collaboration with NAFED, aim to alleviate the burden of escalating tomato prices and ensure the availability of this essential commodity to the public at reasonable rates.

Shivam Dwivedi
Andhra Pradesh Aids Centre in Tomato Procurement through NAFED (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)
Andhra Pradesh Aids Centre in Tomato Procurement through NAFED (Photo Courtesy: Pixabay)

In response to the alarming increase in tomato prices, the Andhra Pradesh government has taken a proactive step by appointing an official to assist the Central government in procuring tomatoes through the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED), according to an official statement on Wednesday.

The Joint Director of Kadapa from the Agriculture Marketing Department has been assigned to work in collaboration with NAFED to facilitate the acquisition of tomatoes from market yard auctions. This move aims to support the Central government's strategy of ensuring the availability of tomatoes to the public at affordable prices. The state government recognizes the importance of collaborating with major tomato-growing states like Andhra Pradesh to address the rising demand.

Rahul Pande, the Agriculture Marketing Commissioner, confirmed that NAFED officials contacted them on Tuesday, following which they promptly assigned their Joint Director from Kadapa. The procurement will extend to Madanapalli as well to ensure a steady supply of tomatoes. Pande emphasized that Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are significant tomato markets and highlighted the potential for large-scale tomato purchases from these states.

He clarified that the Agriculture Marketing Department's role is purely facilitative and coordinative, with no restrictions on participation in the auctions. This inclusive approach enables various stakeholders to engage in the process and contribute to stabilizing tomato prices.

In the meantime, the Agriculture Marketing Department of Andhra Pradesh continues to procure approximately 50 to 60 metric tonnes of tomatoes daily, which are then distributed within the state at subsidized rates. However, this quantity has decreased compared to the previous couple of weeks when the department procured 130 metric tonnes per day.

Despite Pande's optimistic projection that prices will decrease by the first half of July, tomato prices in Andhra Pradesh remain significantly high. On Tuesday, tomatoes were being sold between Rs 100 and Rs 120 per kilogram at the Kaleswara Rao market in Vijayawada.

According to Commissioner Pande, who regularly visits several markets, tomatoes were priced around Rs 94 to Rs 95 per kilogram on Wednesday at Rythu Bazaars, whereas the Agriculture Marketing Department's counter offered tomatoes at Rs 50 per kilogram. Currently, there are three distinct price points for tomato sales in the state: the open market, Rythu Bazaar, and the departmental counter. In the open market, tomatoes are being sold for Rs 120 per kilogram, reflecting the current high demand.

On Wednesday, the Agriculture Marketing Department successfully sold 34 tonnes of tomatoes through its counters across the state, which are primarily located in 37 Rythu Bazaars. Pande clarified that these counters will operate as long as there is sufficient stock available.

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