A file picture showing an tomatoes near a farm, at Aamon village in Seahore district, about 125km from Bhopal, India. EPA/EFE/FILE/SANJEEV GUPTA

Indian government to subsidize tomatoes amid spiraling cost

New Delhi, Jul 12 (EFE).- The Indian government announced on Wednesday that it will distribute tomatoes at subsidized rates in New Delhi amid spiraling prices of the commodity over the last one month due to its scarcity in different parts of the country.

The authorities have ordered two commercial federations to acquire tomatoes from regions with a surplus and distribute them at places where the fruit is witnessing high prices, according to a statement by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

The tomatoes will be distributed at reduced prices from Friday onwards at different retail outlets in the capital, the ministry said without disclosing the expected sale price.

The retail price of a kilo of tomatoes has been over 100 rupees ($1.22) for several weeks, and even reached 160 rupees ($1.94) in various parts of the country of late, representing an increase of more than 300 percent over its usual cost.

High temperatures in India over the past month and heavy monsoon rains in some areas where the crop is grown has led to severe tomato shortages, which is responsible for the soaring prices. EFE