ONDC's tomato initiative continues
ONDC, in line with the Centre's direction, will extend its initiative of selling tomatoes at ₹70 per kilogram for at least one more week, with zero delivery fees. Within six days of offering this discounted price, ONDC has facilitated the purchase of 10,000 kilograms of tomatoes in Delhi, according to a Moneycontrol report. Furthermore, the network has achieved significant milestones, with over 1.1 million retail orders and 5.4 million mobility transactions since its inception last year.
The plan is to continue running the initiative on ONDC, with the restriction of one order per user each week. This move aims to encourage maximum participation and trial of ONDC. As more sellers join the network, the average daily orders have been steadily increasing, and ONDC is witnessing retail orders from 320 cities, including Tier 2 and 3 locations, showing a wider dispersal of orders.
ONDC chief T Koshy told Moneycontrol, “Last week, we had an allocation of 2,000 kg of tomato every day (1,000 orders) in Delhi from the National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF), which was getting sold out by afternoon."
“ONDC has reached a daily retail order peak of 35,000, with Delhi-NCR surpassing Bengaluru in terms of order volume. Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune are among the top cities contributing to order volumes. The network is gearing up to handle 200,000 transactions per day by the end of the year, and the government is working to introduce financial products on ONDC in the coming months," he was quoted as saying in the report.
The ONDC chief also said that the average number of daily orders on the network has been rising steadily as more sellers join the network. For example, a farmer producer organisation selling honey on ONDC has already seen ₹1 lakh worth of orders being placed.
“We can see now that retail orders are being placed from as many as 320 cities, a lot of which are Tier 2, 3 and beyond. As such, we are seeing a greater dispersal of orders than before," he said.
The government supports ONDC to prevent the dominance of a few large e-commerce platforms in the industry. After implementing a revised incentive scheme, buyers can now avail discounts for a maximum of five transactions per month, leading to increased growth aided by discounting schemes from network participants. The government aims to increase e-commerce penetration in the country to 25 percent in the next two years, with ONDC projected to generate a gross merchandise value of $48 billion. ONDC is focusing on dynamic pricing, inventory management, and delivery cost optimization to reduce the cost of doing business for all, including retailers.
Centre to release onions from buffer stocks
New Delhi: The government on Friday said it will release onions from its buffer stock of 300,000 tonne to keep prices in check till fresh crop arrivals begin in October and supplies rise.
Onion prices have surged in recent weeks. Wholesale rates have risen to ₹1,700 a quintal from ₹1,370 a week ago in Maharashtra's Lasalgaon mandi. Retail prices are hovering at ₹30 a kg, according to the data from the consumer affairs ministry's price monitoring division.
Prices have increased due to fears of shortage going ahead.
A rise in temperatures in February led to early maturity of the Rabi crop in key producing states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan which was followed unseasonal rainfall which hit the quality and, thus, the shelf life of onions.
Against this backdrop, food and consumer affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh held a meeting National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) and National Cooperative Consumers' Federation of India (NCCF) on Thursday and finalised modalities for offloading buffer stock.
The buffer stock was created under the Price Stabilisation Fund (PSF) to meet exigencies. The annual buffers have been built by procuring onions from rabi harvest for release in major consumption centres during the lean season.
The food ministry has said that will release onions from the buffer by targeting key markets in states or regions where retail prices are ruling above the all-India average and also where the increase in prices over previous month and year are above the threshold level.
Disposal through e-auction and retail sales on e-commerce platforms are also being explored. The quantity and pace of disposal will be calibrated with prices and availability situations with the objective of making onion available to consumers at affordable prices, it said.
The government will also offer onions to states at discounted rates for sale through retail outlets of their consumer cooperatives and corporations.
This year, irradiation of onion was also taken up on pilot basis in collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) with the objective of minimizing storage loss. About 1,000 tonne had been irradiated and stored in controlled atmosphere storage.
Mint had reported in March that Centre was planning to irradiate onions with Gamma rays before sending them into cold storage on a pilot basis to reduce post-harvest losses to 10-12% from prevailing 25%.
Onions are sown twice a year, with Rabi production accounting for 65% of India's total onion output. Rabi onion is harvested in April-June and are stored until the Kharif crop is harvested in October-November.
Source: Live Mint
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After tomato, onion prices likely to rise in coming days
After tomato, the prices of onion are likely to rise in the coming days and reaching upto ₹60-70 per kg in September due to tightened supplies, a report said.
"The supply-demand imbalance is expected to reflect in onion prices towards end-August. As per our ground interactions, prices are expected to show significant increase from early September in the retail market, reaching up to ₹60-70 per kg during the lean patch. However, prices will remain below the highs of 2020," according to the report by Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics.
According to PTI, the report stated that owing to reduced shelf life of rabi onion by 1-2 months and panic selling in February-March this year, rabi stocks in the open market are expected to decline significantly by the end of August instead of September, extending the lean season by 15-20 days, which is likely to expose the market to tightened supplies and high prices.
Meanwhile, a report in Hindustan Times stated that Farmers have reported a “lot of damage to stored onions" because of heavy rain over the past month, which has “decreased supplies", Narendra Wadhwane, the secretary of Lasalgoan agricultural market committee, said on Tuesday.
“The government is monitoring onion demand and supply as we do in case of 22 essential items across 536 points across the country. We have enough stocks to intervene in the market and there is no concern," a government official said to Hindustan Times.
But analysts say a pricey spell is on the cards. “The acreage under rabi (winter-sown) 2023 (December 2022-January 2023) is estimated to have been lower by 3.5%, led by 25-27% lower realisation by farmers in the previous season," said Pushan Sharma, economist with Crisil Market Intelligence and Analytics.
In February, high temperatures led to early maturity of onions, advancing harvests. This has lowered their shelf life, adding to the current strain, Sharma explained.
*With inputs from agencies
Source: Live Mint
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If You Stop Eating Tomatoes
A statement made by the Uttar Pradesh Minister of State for Women Development and Child Nutrition, Pratibha Shukla, has sparked a controversy.
The Minister advised people that if tomatoes are expensive, they should grow them at home or stop eating them."If tomatoes are expensive, people should grow them at home. If you stop eating tomatoes, the prices will inevitably come down. You can also eat lemon instead of tomato. If nobody is eating tomatoes, the prices will come down," she said.
Citing an example of the nutrition garden in Asahi village, the Uttar Pradesh Minister said that there is a solution to this inflation — plant tomatoes at home.
“We have made a nutrition garden in Asahi village, the women in the village have made a nutrition garden, and tomatoes can also be planted in it. There is a solution to this inflation, this is not new, tomatoes are expensive all the time. If you do not eat tomatoes then use lemon, whatever is more expensive, discard it, it will automatically become cheaper," she said.
The Minister's statement created a controversy with people slamming her for ‘insensitivity'.
“Earlier Nirmala Sitharaman had asked people to stop eating onions and now Shukla asks us to stop eating tomatoes. This shows how insensitive women politicians can be," said Ravindra Gupta, a local businessman.
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