New Delhi, February 13
Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Tuesday said the central government would draw up a “sustained roadmap” to control soaring prices of tomato, onions and potatoes (TOP).
Speaking to the press about what has been dubbed as “Operation Greens”, Kaur praised Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for doubling her ministry’s budget this year and making agriculture the country’s foremost priority.
Badal said that the central government was considering a proposal to compress supply chains and to set up appropriate infrastructure to naturally preserve tomatoes, onions and potatoes. The operation would also help farmer produce organisations.
“We may also look at incentivising production of TOP. A sum of Rs 500 crores has been earmarked for the purpose in the Budget,” she said, adding that FDI was “constantly increasing” for the sector.
The central government has also called a meeting with the states on March 20 to find out their requirements.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced project “Operation Greens” when he presented this year’s budget on February 1. Coming at a time of deep agrarian distress in the country, the project aims at addressing price fluctuations of tomatoes, onions and potatoes, and is to be implemented along lines of “Operation Flood”, a dairy development programme implemented in India between 1970 and 95.