Indian government is offering puree as an alternative to costly tomatoes

  • The prices and supply of tomatoes were hit after erratic and extended monsoons affected tomato-producing states.
  • Tomatoes and onions are are used in at least 60% of common Indian recipes.
  • Government is moving stocks of tomato puree into outlets, and sales will begin tomorrow at Delhi and NCR region.
  • The ministry also asked the tomato producing states to regularly interact with wholesale markets, traders and transporters to ensure regular supply.
Indian households have been struggling this festive season as the retail prices of tomatoes went as high as ₹60-70 per kilogram (kg). Tomato and onion---which also rose to ₹50-60 per kg--- are used in at least 60% of common Indian savory recipes. This affected the lifestyle of most Indians.

In Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), the supply of tomatoes has been hit too.

But the Union Government is looking to remedy the situation. “To mitigate the shortfall in availability of tomatoes in Delhi, Safal has agreed to provide tomato puree from all its outlets in Delhi at ₹ 25 per 200 gram pack which is equivalent to about 800 grams of tomatoes,” said a press release by the Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs. This decision was taken after the chaired an inter-ministerial meeting on the issue.


Stocks of tomato puree are being moved into outlets and sales will begin tomorrow at Delhi and NCR region. The sizes of these packs are also growing. For example, a larger pack of 825 grams worth ₹85 will also be made available, and is equivalent to about 2.5 kg of tomatoes.

But the citizens hopefully won’t have to subsist on puree for a long time. The prices and supply of tomatoes were hit after erratic and extended monsoons affected tomato producing states like Maharashtra and Karnataka.

“The representatives of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare informed that supply will normalize in the next 10 days as monsoon rains are already receding,” the Secretary assured.

The ministry also asked the tomato producing states to regularly interact with wholesale markets, traders and transporters to ensure regular supply. “The same is being reiterated to four major tomato producing States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, so that prices normalize and supply is augmented immediately,” the Secretary said.



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