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Centre okays plan to boost supply, curb prices of tomatoes, onions, potatoes

Written by PaperDabba

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The Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries on Monday approved a plan that offers subsidies on transportation and storage of tomatoes, onions and potatoes (TOP).

The strategy — Operations Greens — also seeks to develop integrated value chains, according to an official statement.

Operation Greens was announced in this year’s Union Budget with an aim to stabilise the prices and supply of these essential commodities to ensure their availability across the country throughout the year.

These measures are to be implemented over the short term and the long term. 

National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will be the nodal agency to implement short-term price stabilisation measures, in which the Ministry will provide a subsidy of 50 per cent on transportation of these three crops from production to storage and hiring of appropriate storage facilities.

Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who approved the measures, said the strategy was evolved after sustained dialogue with all the stakeholders.

“Price volatility of TOP crops wreaks havoc in the households of this country…Our government has laid down special measures and grants-in-aid under the scheme to ensure enhanced production of TOP crops and to augment value chain,” she said.

The long-term measures include capacity building of Farmer Producer Organisations and their consortia, production of good-quality crops, post-harvest processing facilities, agro-logistics, marketing and consumption points, and creation and management of e-platform for demand and supply management.

The pattern of assistance will comprise grants-in-aid at a rate of 50 per cent of the eligible project cost in all areas, subject to a maximum Rs 50 crore per project, and 70 per cent if the project is taken by a Farmer Producer Organisation. 

The Operation Greens seeks to enhance value realisation of TOP farmers, linking farmers to the markets, building infrastructure and agro-logistics to reduce post-harvest losses. 

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