Implementation of ‘TOP’ scheme could have stopped onion price hike
Thrissur: The states would have been able to control the onion price hike if they had implemented the Centre’s TOP (Tomato-Onion-Potato) scheme, it is reported. TOP crops were included in the Operation Greens project announced in the union budget in 2018.
TOP scheme was formed to control the price hike of the quickly perishable crops tomato, onion and potato. As per the scheme, the states are facilitated to buy these crops at the time of harvest itself.
The state governments are directed to form special teams for TOP scheme. They will conduct a market study and inform the list of necessary items to the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (NAFED) will be in charge of purchasing and handing over the items to the states. The central government will bear half the expenses for transportation, preservation and storage in godowns upto six months.
The budget had allocated Rs 500 crore for the scheme. The Ministry of Food Processing Industries had sent a letter to the state governments asking to utilise the scheme, but none of the states replied to this.
The TOP scheme was beneficial for Kerala as the state purchases all three crops from other states. The scheme will help purchase the crops for meagre price, avoid shortage of crops and price hike during festival seasons like Onam.