New Delhi [India], July 12 (ANI): In an effort to control the increasing retail prices, the Consumer Affairs Department has directed the procurement of tomatoes directly from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra for distribution in high-demand areas, an official release said.

As per the official statement, the Department of Consumer Affairs has instructed the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) and the National Consumer Cooperative Federation (NCCF) to procure tomatoes from markets in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, where there has been a significant increase in retail prices over the past month. The tomato stocks will be distributed to consumers at affordable prices through retail stores in the Delhi-NCR region by the end of this week.

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The targeted centres for distribution have been identified based on the maximum increase in retail prices in the past month, where the prices are above the national average. The main centres in states that have high tomato consumption have been identified, and they have been marked for further action.

It is notable that tomato production in India occurs in varying quantities in almost all states.

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The maximum production occurs in the southern and western regions, contributing around 56% to 58% of the total national production. Due to being surplus states, the southern and western states supply it to other markets based on the production season, added the release.

Production seasons also vary in different regions. The harvesting season generally takes place from December to February. July, along with the monsoon, leads to distribution challenges and price increases due to transportation difficulties, resulting in higher prices. The cycle of sowing and harvesting, as well as seasonal variations in production in different regions, are primarily responsible for the seasonal fluctuations in tomato prices.

In addition to the normal price, sudden increases in prices often occur due to the impact of weather, temporary supply chain disruptions, and adverse weather conditions causing crop damage, among other factors.

Currently, tomato arrivals in the markets of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and some other states are mainly from Maharashtra, especially Satara, Narayangaon, and Nashik, which are expected to continue until the end of this month. There is also a suitable supply from Madanapalle (Chittoor) in Andhra Pradesh. The tomato supply to the Delhi-NCR region mainly comes from Himachal Pradesh, with some quantity also coming from Kolar in Karnataka.

There is hope for the arrival of new crops from the Nashik district soon. Additionally, there is an expectation of additional supply from the Narayangaon and Aurangabad belts in August. The arrival from Madhya Pradesh is also expected to begin. As a result, there is hope for a decrease in tomato prices in the near future, read the release further. (ANI)

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