Tomato price crossed Rs 200, know how the rate will be reduced

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New Delhi: This time, not onion but tomato is bringing tears to people’s eyes. In many cities of the country, the price of tomato has crossed 100 rupees. In Delhi, the price of tomato has reached Rs 200 per kg at many places. Even in the weekly market, tomatoes of poor quality are available at Rs 120 per kg. Potato, onion and tomato are the main vegetables in the country. Due to increase in any one of these prices, the hands and feet of the governments also get swollen. According to a research by research fellow Ranjana Roy and eminent professor Ashok Gulati, farmers sow tomatoes based on the price they got for the previous crop. In April-May, the price of tomato fell by Rs 1-2 a kg. For this reason the farmers refrained from tomato cultivation this time. Due to this, the price of tomato suddenly reached the sky.

Roy and Gulati, in an article published in the Times of India, said that the country has a tomato crop throughout the year. Mainly it is cultivated in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat. These states account for 46 percent of the total tomato cultivation in the country. India is the second largest producer of tomato in the world but the per hectare yield in the country is very low. In 2021-22 it was 24.4 tonnes per hectare while in China it is 58.4 tonnes per hectare. Its global average is 37 tonnes per hectare. Tomato is produced in greenhouses and polyhouses in the world. But it has not yet been adopted on a large scale in India.

There is tamarind, there is raw mango, then why are you worried about the prices of tomatoes?

how will the price be reduced

The government had launched Operation Greens in 2018-19 to repair the value chain of tomato, onion and potato. Its objective was to provide fair prices to the farmers for tomatoes, onions and potatoes, reduce losses and curb price fluctuations. It has been four years since the scheme was launched but the price of these vegetables continues to fluctuate. The retail price of tomato in May 2022 was higher by 135.6% on an annual basis while in June 2022 it was higher by 158.6%. Tomatoes accounted for the highest share of CPI inflation in July 2022.

According to Roy and Gulati, the government can curb the price of tomatoes by taking some steps. At least 10 percent tomato puree should be made so that people can use it when the price of tomatoes increases. This will also help the farmers. GST on puree should be reduced from 12% to 5%. Along with this, direct marketing, contract farming and private market should be promoted so that the role of middlemen can be minimised. This will reduce the cost for the consumer as well. This will increase competition, improve the infrastructure of mandis and reduce damage to crops. Along with this, polyhouses should be promoted in tomato cultivation in the country. This will help in reducing the retail price of tomato in the country.

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