The Central government on Sunday reduced the price of tomatoes sold through cooperatives from Rs 90 to Rs 80 in the Delhi-NCR region and other cities.

The National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India are selling tomatoes on behalf of the Centre through mobile vans since July 14.

The Ministry of Consumer Affairs said that sales have started at several points in Delhi, Noida, Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Patna, Muzaffarpur and Arrah.

“It will be expanded to more cities from tomorrow depending upon the prevailing market prices at such locations,” it said.

The prices of tomatoes have soared across the country in the last few weeks due to supply disruption caused by heavy rains in the country. In some places, they are being sold at Rs 250 per kg, according to PTI. Last month, the average rate of tomatoes in the country was Rs 23.61.

Farmers have told The Indian Express that a shocking fall in wholesale prices of tomatoes in the last few months had also forced many farmers to abandon their produce which has now resulted in higher rates.

On Wednesday, the Centre had directed the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation and the National Cooperative Consumers Federation to procure tomatoes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra for distribution in major consumption centres in a bid to reduce the prices.

It had said that production of tomatoes is generally lean between the months of July and August and October and November. “July coinciding with the Monsoon season adds to challenges related to distribution and increased transit losses adding to price rise,” it said.