Tomato exports may be banned as prices zoom

"The commerce secretary and DGFT (Directorate General of Foreign Trade) are constantly monitoring the situation. Whatever appropriate decision is required will be taken,” Sharma said at a press conference here.

He said prices of onions and tomatoes have risen mainly because of hoarding by some traders.

The minister's remarks came against the backdrop of tomato prices shooting up to about Rs.40 per kg in Delhi from around Rs.15-20 a kg 10 days back.

Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar said a small quantity of tomatoes is exported to neighbouring countries, especially Pakistan.

"Tomato trading is very localised. There is no consistency in prices even within the country,” said Khullar.

“Tomato export is quite negligible. Just nearly one percent of total output is exported,” he added.

Tomato prices have shot up here because of a supply crunch due to unseasonal rains in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, from where the bulk of the crop comes to Delhi.

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