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Govt Cuts Retail Tomato Prices to Rs 70/kg

Retail inflation rose significantly to 4.81 percent in June from 4.31 percent in May, mainly driven by the sharp increase in vegetable prices.

Shivam Dwivedi
Govt Cuts Retail Tomato Prices to Rs 70/kg (Photo Source: Pixabay)
Govt Cuts Retail Tomato Prices to Rs 70/kg (Photo Source: Pixabay)

Tomato Prices: The central government has instructed its marketing agencies, the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and the National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India (NCCF), to reduce the selling price of tomatoes. Starting from Thursday, consumers will be able to purchase tomatoes at Rs 70 per kilogram instead of the earlier rate of Rs 80 per kilogram.

The procurement of tomatoes by NAFED and NCCF initially began at Rs 90 per kilogram, which was subsequently lowered to Rs 80 per kilogram on July 16, 2023, and has now been further reduced to Rs 70 per kilogram. The agencies have been actively procuring tomatoes from mandis (wholesale markets) in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The aim is to ensure their availability in major consumption centers where retail prices have witnessed a significant increase in the last month.

As of July 18, 2023, a total of 391 metric tons of tomatoes have been procured by NAFED and NCCF. These agencies have been efficiently supplying the tomatoes to retail consumers in major consumption centers, including Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar. The surge in tomato prices has been observed nationwide and is not limited to specific regions or geographical areas. In some cities, tomato prices skyrocketed to as high as Rs 150-200 per kilogram.

The period between July-August and October-November is generally considered the lean production months for tomatoes. Tomato cultivation takes place in almost all states of India, with the southern and western regions accounting for 56-58 percent of the total tomato production in the country.

The government attributes the recent price increase to the monsoon season, which has brought about distribution challenges and increased transit losses. Tomatoes have a relatively short shelf life, which further complicates the supply situation.

Currently, the majority of tomato supplies in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and other states come from Maharashtra, especially from regions like Satara, Narayangaon, and Nashik. These supplies are expected to last until the end of the current month. Additionally, there have been consistent arrivals of tomatoes in reasonable quantities from Madanapalle (Chittoor) in Andhra Pradesh. In Delhi-NCR, the arrivals primarily come from Himachal Pradesh, with some quantity from Kolar in Karnataka.

New crop arrivals from Nashik district are also anticipated soon. Furthermore, in August, additional supply is expected from the Narayangaon and Aurangabad belt, while Madhya Pradesh arrivals are also projected to begin.

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