Centre sees tomato red over price gap

The soaring tomato prices appear to have left many red faces in the government.

Published: 06th August 2017 07:12 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2017 07:12 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The soaring tomato prices appear to have left many red faces in the government. The claims of an integrated market came a cropper when the NITI Aayog recently asked state chief secretaries to explain how there could be huge price difference of the vegetable between neighbouring states.

If the wholesale price of tomato in Rajasthan was about Rs 7 a kg in June, it was almost Rs 17 in the neighbouring Gujarat. And the price difference between these states was not just an aberration. The NITI Aayog told the chief secretaries that while the wholesale price in Madhya Pradesh was about Rs 9 per kg, it was almost Rs 18 in the neighbouring Chhattisgarh in June.

Incidentally, prices of tomato shot through the roof in the last three months, leaving the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) miffed. The PMO asked NITI Aayog to find a permanent solution to the issue.
While the wholesale price of tomato in Odisha was Rs 22 a kg, it was Rs 26 in the neighbouring West Bengal in June. Tomato sold for Rs 17 a kg in the wholesale market in Andhra Pradesh, but it was about Rs 26 in the neighbouring Kerala.

“If we take the average wholesale price of tomato for May, the price difference between sets of neighbouring states indicate the same trend. The wholesale price of tomato in Rajasthan for May was Rs 3.75 per kg, which almost trebled to Rs 9.74 a kg in the neighbouring Gujarat. The prices trebled between Andhra Pradesh and Kerala for May, as the wholesale price for the former was Rs 5.51 against Rs 15.18 a kg for the latter. The data indicate that the state governments have just not been doing what’s expected from them in carrying out market intelligence to check prices of essentials,” said a senior official of the NITI Aayog.

Spelling out that strategic intervention will be required to make timely intervention, NITI Aayog has asked the state governments to begin work on war-footing to create storage capacities for tomato with the help of private players, besides making use of initiatives, including e-National Agriculture Market to break barriers for free flow of essential kitchen items.

“Between May and June, price of tomato increased by 70 to 215 per cent for want of storage, value chain, and shorter shelf life. This is in contrast to the fact that there had been bumper crops and the farmers not getting good prices, but the consumers burning deep holes in their pockets,” said the NITI Aayog official.

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp