The price of tomatoes is expected to decrease with the increase in the arrival of new crops from the Nasik, Naryangoan, and Aurangabad belts in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.
The Department of Consumer Affairs monitors the daily prices of 22 essential food commodities, including tomatoes. To check the current increase in prices of tomatoes and make them available to consumers at affordable prices, the Government has started procuring tomatoes under the price stabilization fund. It is making them available at a highly subsidized rate to consumers. The National Cooperative Consumers Federation (NCCF) and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) are continuously procuring tomatoes from mandis in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra and making them available at affordable prices in major consuming centers in Delhi-NCR, Bihar, Rajasthan, etc. after subsidizing the price to the consumers. The tomatoes have been disposed of initially at the retail price of Rs 90/kg, which has been reduced to Rs 80/kg from 16 July 2023 and further reduced to Rs 70/kg from 20 July 2023.
The current increase in tomato prices may incentivize farmers to grow more tomato crops, which are expected to stabilize the prices in the 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 sales 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 due to the fall in price is borne between the Central Government and State Government on a 50:50 basis. Since the inception of MIS, the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has not received any proposal from State Governments for market intervention to address the distress sale of tomatoes.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries implements Operation Greens to enhance value addition and reduce post-harvest losses of agri-horticultural commodities, including tomatoes. The objectives of the scheme are:
(i) enhancing value realization of produce for farmers
(ii) protecting the growers from making distress sales
(iii) increase in food processing/preservation capacities and value addition
(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 subsidies to individual farmers, groups of farmers, farmer producer organizations, 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.