Consumer Affairs body takes steps to ease prices of tomatoes, onions and pulses

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The Inter Ministerial Committee held a meeting recently under the Chairmanship of Secretary Consumer Affairs to review the price and availability situation of Onions, Tomatoes and Pulses and augment supplies. It was attended by representatives of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Horticulture Commissioner, MD Nafed, Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF and senior officials of the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The committee took the following key deisions to augment supply of tomatoes:

It was informed that there has been hardly any damage to the Tomato crop in Andhra Pradesh which is a major producer. Horticulture Commissioner has been asked to write to Andhra Pradesh Horticulture Commissioner asking him to dispatch the fresh Tomatoes immediately for augmenting supplies in major demand centres including Delhi NCR.

Mother Dairy has agreed to sell Tomatoes at not more than Rs. 55 per kilogram. Mother Dairy/Safal were also advised to consider repacking the Tomato Puree packets of 800 grams that are available with them into smaller packets of 100/200 grams for wider consumption and retailing at all their outlets. It was also informed that sufficient supply of Tomato Puree is available for retailing.

It was informed by representatives of Agriculture Ministry that prices of Tomatoes have normalised in most States barring a few States. The arrivals from Madhya Pradesh have begun which will have an immediate easing impact on prices.

The Tomato crop in Karnataka has begun arriving in the mandis and this will have an immediate impact on prices especially in the Southern region. There has been no damage to the crop as it’s a highland area and prices have already begun showing a downward trend.

Horticulture Commissioner was asked to consider the proposal under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)for exploring the possibility of cultivation of more tomatoes and onions in Northern India. MIDH is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector.

Safal was advised to take advantage of the Operation Green Scheme of Government of India. The scheme aims to reduce post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, agro-logistics and storage capacity

The committee took the following key decisions for augmenting onion supply:
It was informed during the meeting that Delhi Government has been rejecting some trucks arriving at Delhi despite Delhi Government officers being present in Maharashtra to check the stock quality before dispatch. Delhi government representatives were requested to ensure than adequate personnel are deputed at loading sources to ensure that there is no rejection on arrival so as to facilitate a constant and healthy supply for retailing.

The arrival of fresh stock has begun from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and it is expected that prices will show a downward trend in the coming week especially after Diwali.
Nafed has sufficient stock of onions and has requested that all stock should be picked up and retailed by various State Governments as per their requirement.

In case of Pulses, it was decided that there is sufficient stock at present with the Government and it should be immediately assessed and offloaded in the market through Kendriya Bhandar, Safal, NCCF etc. in Smaller packs of half and one Kilograms. Pulses will be supplied by Nafed from the government buffer to Kendriya Bhandar, Safal and NCCF.

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