Prices of many of the fruits and vegetables, particularly in the national capital region, will be stable and any upward trend in any particular item will be due to its seasonal factor over the next two months, says Otipy, a B2C e-Commerce platform.. However, onion prices, which have been moving up continuously since September, may come down in December before rising again in January.

According to Otipy, the average retail price of pomegranate will likely to fall to ₹131/kg in January from ₹258/kg in October. Similarly, tomato prices have been projected to fall to ₹25.30/kg in January from ₹95.50 in August and capsicum to ₹40 after two months against ₹95.20 in October.

Also read: Government, RBI on high alert as inflation posing persistent downside risk, says FinMin report 

Further, ginger prices, too, are seen dropping to ₹100/kg in January from ₹182 in August and carrots to ₹30/kg from ₹50.

Price Analysis Index

Otipy, which claims to have been delivering farm-fresh produce at consumers’ doorsteps within 12 hours of harvest, has been doing this price research internally for quite sometime. The company’s comprehensive Price Analysis Index provides pricing trends of various fruits and vegetables from time to time, a company official said.

The Agriculture Ministry is yet to roll out its price forecast module after piloting it for tomato, onion and potato (TOP) crops for a few years as it fears an adverse reaction when prices do not behave as per forecast. However, experts said that an alert in advance can help farmers avoid a glut when prices crash and can help consumers when prices do not increase due to any abrupt shortfall in production.

Also read: Goldman Sachs sees India GDP growth at 6.3% in 2024 

“There is a major challenge in price forecast due to wide variation in rates based on locations and there is no point in predicting a macro level price,” said an official involved in the project. He said though private sector is welcome to do such price forecast which will help the government to collect market intelligence, there is a big difference when the government itself releases the prediction.

Optimising crop planning

Highlighting the significance of the Price Analysis Index, Varun Khurana, Founder-CEO of Otipy, said: “This comprehensive tool provides invaluable insights, not only offering consumers foresight but also enhancing our ability to navigate the ever-evolving agricultural landscape. Understanding these price dynamics enables us to maintain an efficient supply chain, ensuring our steadfast commitment to delivering the freshest produce to our customers.”

Also read: Retail inflation eases to 4-month low at 4.87% in October; relief may be very brief 

Besides consumer benefits, this initiative also helps farmers, Khurana said. By predicting market shifts and demands, farmers can be guided in optimising their crop planning and securing fair returns for their produce, he said.

Papayas showcased mild fluctuations, indicating a relative stability reflecting balanced supply and demand as also potato. But apples are seen an upward price trend, from ₹130.30/kg in November to ₹179.40 in January, mirroring seasonal preference for the fruit. Bananas remained relatively stable, but Kiwi and pear prices are anticipated to witness a significant surge by January.