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ONDC to Offer Subsidised Tomatoes for Online Purchase: Sources

The government's partnership with ONDC and its directive to market agencies to sell tomatoes at Rs 70 per kg online will bring much-needed relief to consumers grappling with soaring tomato prices.

Shivam Dwivedi
ONDC to Offer Subsidised Tomatoes for Online Purchase (Photo Source: Pixabay)
ONDC to Offer Subsidised Tomatoes for Online Purchase (Photo Source: Pixabay)

The Indian government is reportedly in negotiations with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to make tomatoes available online at a subsidized rate of Rs 70 per kg for consumers, according to reliable sources.

The ONDC, established on December 31, 2021, aims to revolutionize the existing platform-centric digital commerce model, where buyers and sellers must use the same platform or application for visibility and transactions. By collaborating with the government's agricultural marketing agencies, the National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED), the ONDC is set to pilot the online sale of subsidized tomatoes.

Presently, the initiative is in the testing phase, with plans to offer doorstep delivery of tomatoes at the reduced price of Rs 70 per kg in the Delhi-NCR region initially. This move comes as a significant relief for consumers, considering that e-commerce companies currently provide doorstep delivery at prices ranging from Rs 170 to Rs 180 per kg.

The surge in tomato prices has affected the entire country, with major cities witnessing prices as high as Rs 150-200 per kg. To alleviate the burden on consumers, the central government has directed its marketing agencies, NAFED and NCCF, to sell tomatoes at Rs 70 per kg, down from the previous selling price of Rs 80.

Originally, the tomatoes procured by NCCF and NAFED were retailed at Rs 90 per kg. Subsequently, the price was reduced to Rs 80 per kg on July 16, 2023, and now, with the government's intervention, it is set to be further reduced to Rs 70 per kg.

In response to the soaring tomato prices, the agencies, NCCF and NAFED, have initiated the procurement of tomatoes from various mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The objective is to supply these tomatoes to major consumption centers, which have experienced the highest increase in retail prices over the past month.

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