Centre procures Tomato under Price Stabilisation Fund to bring relief to consumers

New Delhi, July 21, 2023.

The price of tomato is expected to come down with the increase in arrival of new crop from Nasik, Naryangoan and Aurangabad belt in Maharashtra and also from Madhya Pradesh.

The Department of Consumer Affairs monitors the daily prices of 22 essential food commodities including tomato. In order to check the current increase in prices of tomato and make it available to the consumers at affordable prices, the Government has started the procurement of tomatoes under Price Stabilisation Fund and is making it available at a highly subsidised rate to consumers. The National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) are continuously procuring tomato from mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra and making it available at affordable prices in major consuming centres in Delhi-NCR, Bihar, Rajasthan, etc. after subsidizing the price to the consumers. The tomatoes have been disposed initially at retail price of Rs.90/kg which has been reduced to Rs.80/kg from 16.07.2023 and further reduced to Rs.70/kg from 20.07.2023.

Current increase in tomato prices may incentivize farmers to grow more tomato crop which is expected to stabilize the prices in coming months. The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DAFW) implements Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) to protect the growers of perishable agri-horticultural commodities from making distress sale in the event of a bumper crop during the peak arrival period when the prices tend to fall below economic levels and cost of production. Under the scheme, the loss on account of the fall in price is borne between the Central Government and State Government on 50:50 basis. Since the inception of MIS till date, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has not received any proposal from State Governments for market intervention to address distress sale of tomato.

Ministry of Food Processing Industries implements Operation Greens for enhancing value addition and reduction in post-harvest losses of agri-horticultural commodities, including tomato. The objectives of the scheme are (i) enhancing value realization of produce for farmers; (ii) protect the growers from making distress sale; (iii) increase in food processing/preservation capacities and value addition; and (iv) reduction in post-harvest losses. The scheme has both short-term interventions component and long-term interventions component. The short-term interventions include transportation and storage subsidy to individual farmers, group of farmers, farmer producer organisations, farmer producer companies, cooperative societies, State Marketing and Co-operative Federation, food processors, licensed commission agents, exporters and retailers etc. Under the long-term interventions, grants-in-aid are being provided for Integrated Value Chain Development Projects and Stand-alone Post-Harvest Infrastructure Projects.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply today in the Rajya Sabha.