Government steps in to check rising prices of tomatoes

To procure stocks from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra

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tomatoes
Department of Consumer Affairs directs procurement of tomatoes from AP, Karnataka and Maharashtra for distribution in major consumption centres to check increasing retail price. Courtesy- Unsplash

The Department of consumer affairs has directed National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) to immediately procure tomatoes from mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra for simultaneous distribution in major consumption centers where retail prices have recorded maximum increase in the last one month. The stocks of tomatoes will be distributed through retail outlets at discounted prices to the consumers in Delhi-NCR region by Friday, this week.

Maximum production of tomatoes is in southern and western regions of India, contributing 56%-58% of all India production. Southern and Western regions being surplus states feed to other markets depending on production seasons. The production seasons are also different across regions. The peak harvesting season occurs from December to February. The periods during July-August and October-November are generally the lean production months for tomatoes. July coinciding with the monsoon season adds to further challenges related to distribution and increased transit losses adding to price rise. The cycle of planting and harvesting seasons and variation across regions are primarily responsible for price seasonality in tomatoes. Apart from the normal price seasonality, temporary supply chain disruptions, and crop damage due to adverse weather conditions and other related factors often lead to sudden spikes in prices.

Currently, the supplies coming to markets in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and some other states are mostly from Maharashtra especially Satara, Narayangaon, and Nashik which is expected to last till this month’s end. Madanapalle (Chittoor) in Andhra Pradesh also has continued arrivals in reasonable quantities. The arrivals in Delhi-NCR are mainly from Himachal Pradesh and some quantity comes from Kolar in Karnataka.

New crop arrivals are expected soon from Nashik district. Furthermore, in August, additional supply is expected to come from Narayangaon and Aurangabad belt. Madhya Pradesh arrivals are also expected to start. Prices are anticipated to cool down in the near future, accordingly.

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