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Govt portal to alert about price crash in staple vegetables

February 26
21:29 2020

Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday launched a portal that will forecast wholesale prices of three key vegetables – tomato, onion and potato – for three months and alert the government to take timely intervention in case of price crash due to glut.

Alerts from the portal will help the government take timely market intervention under the central scheme ‘Operation Greens’ by providing subsidy to farmers for storage and transportation of the produce from surplus markets to consuming market, she said.

The alerts will be triggered when prices of these three perishable commodities fall to a three-year low levels at the time of harvest or when the price fall is more than 50 per cent from the year ago or when the fall in rates is lower than the benchmark fixed by Centre/state government for a specified period, she added.

The web portal called Market Intelligence and Early Warning System (MIEWS), developed by cooperative Nafed, has been done under the scheme for integrated development of tomato, onion and potato (TOP) value chain.

Elaborating more, Nafed Additional Managing Director S K Singh said the portal will show wholesale prices of these three commodities from 128 markets monitored by private firm Agriwatch and data of 1,200 mandis tracked by Agmark.

The portal will show prices of both producing and consuming centres. The portal has been designed to provide advisories to farmers to avoid cyclical production as well as early warning in situation of glut for policy makers.

“Any price aberration will be captured on the portal. We shall add more markets if required,” Singh said adding that a weekly report will be generated.

For policy makers, the portal will help in monitoring supply situation for timely market intervention, assist in rapid response in times of glut to move produce from glut regions to deficit/consuming regions. The data will also help in taking export or import decisions.

The portal has a dashboard that would indicate low and high price alerts as well as price forecast for three months onward. It also has price and arrival details of these three commodities as well as area and production information. It also has crop agronomy and trade profile.

Under the Operation Greens scheme, Badal said the government has approved a grant of Rs 161 crore for creation of five clusters in these three crops at producing centres. The total cost of these five clusters is Rs 425 crore and will benefit 15,000 farmers.

Three onion clusters will come up in Maharashtra and Gujarat, one each cluster of potato and tomato will be developed in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, respectively.

A storage capacity of 90,000 tonnes and processing capacity of 3.36 lakh tonne will come up in these five clusters, she added.

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