New Delhi : The all-India average retail price of Tomato has been on the rise from the end of September 2021 due to unseasonal rains in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh which led to crop damage and delay in arrival from these Sates. Delayed arrivals from the north Indian States was followed by heavy rains in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka which disrupted the supply and also resulted in crop damage. As on 25.11.2021, the all-India average price of Tomato was Rs.67/kg which is 63% higher than that of last year. Tomato price is highly volatile as slight disruptions in supply chain or damage due to heavy rains results in spurt in prices. Conversely, bulk arrival and logistics problems have the potential of creating a situation of glut in the market and resultant dip in retail prices. As per the Department of Agriculture, the estimated Kharif production in the current year at 69.52 LMT is comparable with 70.12 LMT produced last year. Arrivals in November this year were only 19.62 LMT compared to 21.32 LMT last year. Tomato arrivals from North Indian States will start from the beginning of December itself, which will add to availability and lead to fall in prices. In December, arrival is expected to be at par with last year.
In the case of Onion, rise in prices during October 2021 has substantially subsided and the level is below that of the retail prices in 2020 and also 2019. The all-India average retail price of Onion as on 25.11.2021 was Rs.39/kg which is 32% lower than that of the last year. Onion buffer of 2.08 LMT built in current year under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) has been released in a calibrated and targeted manner to States/Cities where prices are increasing over the previous month and also to source markets such as Lasalgaon and Pimplegaon to augment the availability in these key mandis. Further, States/UTs have been offered Onion at Rs.21/kg ex-storage locations. Nagaland and Andhra Pradesh have taken Onion from the buffer. Safal has also been supplied @Rs.26/kg inclusive of transportation cost. The aggressive releases of onion from the buffer have contributed to stability in prices. The Kharif and late Kharif production is estimated at a robust 69 LMT; Kharif onion has already started arriving in the market.
Under the Price Stabilisation Fund scheme, interest free advances are provided to States/UTs for creation of State-level Price Stabilisation Fund, on 50:50 sharing basis (75:25 in case of NE States). So far six States, viz., Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and West Bengal have drawn the advance and a total of Rs.164.15 crore has been released as Central share. These States have the funds and mandate to undertake necessary interventionsfor controlling prices of essential food commodities. Other States have also been requested to set up the PSF for State-level interventions to control price rise in essential food commodities.