The Centre has taken a consumer-friendly step by directing the cooperative agencies NCCF (National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation) and NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd) to sell tomatoes at a reduced price of ₹50 per kilogram, effective from August 15. This decision has been made in response to the need to ease the burden on consumers and make the staple vegetable more affordable.
This reduction in price comes after tomatoes were initially priced at ₹90 per kilogram and subsequently brought down to ₹80 per kilogram from July 16, 2023. The price was further reduced to ₹70 per kilogram from July 20, 2023. The latest reduction to ₹50 per kilogram aims to provide even more relief to consumers.
The initiative is a part of efforts to stabilize and manage tomato prices, which have seen fluctuations in recent times. In the National Capital Region, retail sale of tomatoes commenced on July 14, and since then, NCCF and NAFED have procured a total of 15 lakh kilograms of tomatoes. These agencies are continuously distributing the procured tomatoes to consumers in various major consumption centers across the country.
The release issued by the government states, “The retail sale of tomatoes in Delhi-NCR had started from 14 July, 2023. Till 13 August, 2023, a total of 15 lakh kg of tomato had been procured by the two agencies which are being continuously disposed of to the retail consumers in major consumption centers in the country.”
These major consumption centers include Delhi-NCR, Rajasthan (Jaipur, Kota), Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Prayagraj), and Bihar (Patna, Muzaffarpur, Arrah, Buxar).
NCCF has been proactive in ensuring a steady supply of tomatoes to consumers. They have increased the quantity of tomato supplied by deploying mobile vans at 70 locations in Delhi and 15 locations in Noida and Greater Noida. Additionally, NCCF is leveraging the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) platform to facilitate retail sales of tomatoes.
Previously, the consumer affairs department had directed NCCF and NAFED to procure tomatoes from mandis (wholesale markets) in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. This procurement and simultaneous disposal strategy aimed to address the spike in retail prices observed in major consumption centers over the past month.
The Centre’s decision to reduce the price of tomatoes is a welcome move that will bring relief to consumers and contribute to stabilizing the cost of this essential commodity.