Centre to sell tomatoes on discount at Rs 80 from today

- July 16, 2023
| By : Patriot Bureau |

Due to monsoon rains and the lean season, retail prices of tomatoes have remained elevated, reaching up to Rs 250 per kg in major cities

Starting from Sunday, the Centre has decided to sell tomatoes at Rs 80 per kg, providing relief to consumers from the previously high prices of this essential kitchen item in retail markets. This comes after the Centre initiated the sale of tomatoes at a discounted rate of Rs 90 per kg through mobile vans in Delhi-NCR on Friday, which was subsequently expanded to more cities on Saturday.

The government’s intervention in selling tomatoes at a concessional rate of Rs 90 per kg in various locations across the country, where prices were exceptionally high, has led to a decrease in wholesale prices, as stated in an official statement. After reassessing the situation from over 500 locations nationwide, it has been decided to further reduce the price to Rs 80 per kg, effective from Sunday, July 16th, 2023.

Sales have already commenced on Sunday in several cities, including Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Patna, Muzaffarpur, and Arrah, through the cooperatives NAFED and NCCF, as mentioned in the statement. Depending on the prevailing market prices, the sale of tomatoes at a discounted price will be expanded to more cities starting Monday.

The statement emphasizes the government’s commitment to providing relief to consumers. The National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) are responsible for selling tomatoes on behalf of the Centre using mobile vans.

Due to monsoon rains and the lean season, retail prices of tomatoes have remained elevated, reaching up to Rs 250 per kg in major cities. According to government data, the all-India average price on Saturday stood at nearly Rs 117 per kg. The Department of Consumer Affairs compiled data showing that the average retail price of tomatoes across India was Rs 116.86 per kg, with the maximum rate being Rs 250 per kg and the minimum rate at Rs 25 per kg. The modal price of tomatoes was Rs 100 per kg.

In metropolitan areas, tomatoes were priced at Rs 178 per kg in Delhi, Rs 150 per kg in Mumbai, and Rs 132 per kg in Chennai. Hapur recorded the highest price of Rs 250 per kg.

Tomato prices typically rise during lean production months in July-August and October-November. This year, supply disruptions caused by the monsoon have contributed to the sharp price increase.

NCCF’s Managing Director, Anice Joseph Chandra, mentioned that tomatoes are being procured from Madanapalli (Andhra Pradesh), Kolar (Karnataka), and Sanganeri (Maharashtra). In the past two days, NCCF has already sold 35,000 kg of tomatoes and expects to sell 20,000 kg in Delhi-NCR, 15,000 kg in Varanasi, and 10,000 kg each in Lucknow and Kanpur on Sunday. The sale of 7,000 kg in Lucknow on Saturday alone helped reduce the wholesale rate from Rs 130 per kg to Rs 115 per kg.

Joseph Chandra further stated that the price reduction to Rs 80 per kg will continue to cool down the prices in the coming days. NCCF is currently selling tomatoes through its mobile vans and 4-5 outlets owned by NAFED in Delhi-NCR. From Sunday onwards, it will also initiate sales through retail outlets of Kendriya Bhandar.

(With PTI inputs)