Fresh stock to bring onion prices down in coming week

New Delhi: Onion prices are expected to come down in the coming days, especially after Diwali, as fresh stock has started to arrive from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

This assessment was made on Friday as an inter-ministerial committee headed by the Consumer Affairs Secretary held a meeting to review the price and the availability of onions, tomatoes and pulses and ways to augment their supplies.

The meeting was attended by representatives from the Agriculture Ministry, Horticulture Commissioner, NAFED, Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar, NCCF and senior officials of the Department of Consumer Affairs.

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On augmenting the supply of onions, the committee was of the view that the arrival of fresh stock has begun from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and it is expected that prices will fall in the coming week, according to an official statement.

It was brought to the notice of the panel that the Delhi government has been rejecting some trucks arriving in the national capital despite its officials being present in Maharashtra to check the stock quality before their dispatch.

The representatives of the Delhi government were asked to ensure that adequate personnel are deputed at the loading sources to ensure that there is no rejection on arrival so as to facilitate a constant supply for retailing.

Nafed has told the states that it has sufficient stock of onions and they can pick up the crop as per their requirements.

On the supply of tomatoes, the Agriculture Ministry said that prices of tomatoes have normalised in most states barring a few. Fresh stock has started to arrive from Madhya Pradesh, which will have an immediate easing impact on the prices.

For increasing supply in Delhi-NCR, the Andhra Pradesh Horticulture Commissioner has been asked to dispatch fresh tomatoes as there has hardly been any damage to the crop in the state.

In Delhi-NCR, Mother Dairy will cap the price of tomatoes at Rs 55 per kilogram. Mother Dairy and Safal have also been advised to consider repackaging tomato puree packets of 800 gram into smaller packets of 100 and 200 gram for wider consumption.

As a long term measure for growing onions and tomatoes in north India, the Horticulture Commissioner has been asked to consider the proposal under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) for exploring the possibility of cultivating these vegetables.

The MIDH is a centrally sponsored scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector.

Safal has also been advised to take advantage of the Operation Green Scheme of the Central government. The scheme aims to reduce post-harvest losses by creation of farm gate infrastructure, agro-logistics and storage capacity.

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