Prices ease as India imports tomatoes from Nepal

NEW DEHLI, Aug 15: India has imported unspecified quantities of tomatoes from Nepal to boost supplies of the vegetable, an official has said, amid a decline in prices. The widely consumed vegetable however still remains pricey for most Indians.

The retail price of tomatoes procured by NCCF and NAFED was initially fixed at IC Rs 90 per kg and, as wholesale prices began to ease, it was reduced to IC Rs 80 per kg from July 16. It was eased to IC Rs 70 per kg from July 10.

Tomatoes from the Himalayan kingdom -- which are still in transit -- will be used to boost availability in north Indian states, especially Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest consuming states in the country, the official said. The government has further reduced the retail price of subsidised sales, which now stands at IC Rs 50 a kg.

Retail prices of tomatoes have declined on the back of lower wholesale prices, as the government stepped up sales of subsidised tomatoes, totalling 93,800 kg in Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, according to data seen by HT.

The vegetable is now retailing at an average price of IC Rs 100, down from a peak of IC Rs 250 a kg a month ago. Yet, consumers say the essential ingredient of most Indian curries remains unaffordable. “We can’t afford it. We have stopped buying tomatoes. It is as expensive as chicken,” Mintu Singh, a daily wager from east Delhi said.

(Hindustan Times)

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