Thursday, July 4, 2024

Tomato Grand Challenge Hackathon Amid Price Hike

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The Centre on Friday announced a ‘Tomato Grand Challenge’ (TGC) hackathon, just days after hiking the price of tomatoes in the country.

The Centre on Friday announced a ‘Tomato Grand Challenge’ (TGC) hackathon, just days after hiking the price of tomatoes in the country. According to a government release, the government announced the initiative to invite innovative ideas at various levels of the tomato value chain to ensure availability of tomato to the consumers at affordable prices and help tomato farmers get value for the produce.


Growers said with traders not showing interest in buying tomatoes, they were being forced to sell the produce to Delhi, Dehradun, Saharanpur, Chandigarh, Haridwar and other cities of nearby states at their own cost.

Here are five points on the Centre’s TGC hackathon:

  1. The hackathon has been formulated by the department of consumer affairs in collaboration with the ministry of education (innovation cell) and was announced by the secretary of department of consumer affairs Rohit Kumar Singh.
  2. The challenge invites several ideas on comprehensive and focused area interventions in tomato value chain – from cropping and market insights for the farmers, appropriate cultivars (OP varieties or hybrids) with higher shelf-life of the fruits for fresh marker, cultivars specifically suitable for processing, value-addition through interventions that can increase shelf-life, improve transportation of fresh and processing products, innovative packaging and storage, the official release said.
  3. The hackathon invites entry of participants under two tracks – students, research scholars and faculty members, and industry individuals, Indian start-ups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Limited Liability Partnership (LLPs), and professionals.
  4. The government said that all the winning ideas will be evaluated by experts followed by “prototype development and field implementation for ensuring its usability and scalability on a large scale and price of the product.”
  5. The eligible participants can apply for the hackathon on the official government portal:

Tomato price hike

On June 27, the tomato prices across the country hit ₹100 kg per mark in prominent cities due to several factors like shortage of supply, heatwaves, monsoon deficit and even heavy rainfall destroying crops. According to the database of Price Monitoring Division under the Department of Consumer Affairs, the per kilo tomato price on an average rose from ₹25 to ₹41 in the retail markets. Meanwhile, the maximum prices of tomatoes in retail markets were in the range between ₹80 to ₹113.

Meanwhile, according to government officials, the prices are expected to cool down in the next 15 days with increase in supplies from producing centers and reach a normal level within a month.

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