Alarmed over the sharp increase in the retail price of tomatoes
in the past two months, the Central government has directed Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh
and other major tomato-producing states to increase supplies.
It is also planning to constitute a high-level panel of officials that would visit the mandis to get firsthand information on the reasons for the low supply. The panel will also be tasked with the responsibility of conducting a review of the supplies.
Tomato prices in most retail markets across the country have risen by over 150 per cent in the last three months, mainly due to the supply disruption witnessed on account of a poor monsoon
Imposition of the goods and services tax (GST) has also hampered supplies with many transporters cutting down on their regular bookings.
In the national capital of Delhi, data furnished by the department of consumer affairs show that the retail price of tomatoes
has risen by 121 per cent since April, while in Kolkata, prices have risen by a whopping 700 per cent during the same period.
of all major kharif crops
continued to show impressive gains over the last year due to a strong resurgence of the south-west monsoon
in the central and western parts of the country. Some states of southern India, namely Karnataka and Kerala, continued to get less than normal rains.
Data furnished by the department of agriculture
showed that till Friday, kharif crops
have been sown in around 56.31 million hectares of land, which is almost 8 per cent more than the area covered during the same period last year.
The major gainers have been pulses and cotton that have seen a 24 per cent and 23 per cent rise in acreage respectively, as compared to the same period last year. However, the area under oilseeds namely ground nut and soybean has decreased by around 8 per cent and 12 per cent respectively in the same period.
However, with the south-west monsoon
expected to make a strong revival in most parts of central and western India
in the next two weeks, the acreage under oilseeds should improve as soybean and groundnut are mostly grown in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Meteorological Department (IMD) in its last weather update said that monsoon
is expected to be 'above normal' in many parts of the country in the next two weeks.
revival has also lifted the water levels in 91-major reservoirs across the country by 2 per cent.