New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS): When onion and tomato prices soared last week, one of the many reasons given was that rainfall in several states producing the two crops was responsible for it. However, rain effect was relatively less, according to government data.
The data from from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on Friday showed that as on October 18, almost 15 per cent of the area for onion cultivation was damaged due to rain, while for tomatoes it was less than 2 per cent.
The government had claimed earlier last week and even on Friday that it was because of its timely intervention that the prices were brought down substantially.
According to the data, as on October 18, for the Kharif season 2021-22, of the total current of 3.85 lakh hectares for growing onions, the area damaged due to rain was 0.59 lakh hectares.
Officials said the comparable figure for Kharif 2020-21 was that of the total 3.63 lakh hectares kharif area sown, the unaffected area was 2 lakh hectares.
The estimated production in 2021 is 43.88 lakh tonnes compared to last year's estimated production at 37.38 lakh tonnes on comparable date, the data showed.
"We are expecting a good harvest and as and when this trickles down to the market, rates would reduce even more," an official from the Ministry said.
Similarly for tomatoes, the current area sown is 2.47 lakh hectares while the area damaged due to rain is barely 0.04 lakh hectares.
However, the drop in rates was restricted to wholesale rates at Mandi levels, while the end consumer is still paying higher rates.
Onion prices did come down from Monday onwards this week, however, tomato prices hovered high.