Indian farmers have reported massive crop damage in transit in addition to huge quantity of the potato left unharvested due to muddy fields. In some places, potato prices have jumped by 25 per cent in a month due to crop damage and frequent hailstorms in major cultivating regions. The price currently stands at double than its quote around the same time last year.
The data compiled by the Nashik-based National Horticultural Research & Development Foundation showed model potato price at Rs 14 a kg in the benchmark Asansol wholesale mandi in West Bengal. Prices there had slumped to the season’s low of Rs 11.20 a kg on February 14 on increased arrivals of new season crop. Wholesale prices are expected to go up further to Rs 22, which means Rs 40 a kg in retail market.
“At least 30-40 per cent of potatoes got damaged this year due to hailstorms, which pushed its prices up in both wholesale and retail markets. With the harvesting of the current season crop completed, arrivals have started declining steadily. Further increase in potato price is likely,” said Pravir Kumar Bera, managing partner, Agrive Exports & Imports, a Kolkata-based potato wholesaler and exporter.
As explained on business-standard.com, West Bengal contributes nearly 25 per cent (11-11.5 million tonnes) of India’s overall potato output and stands second after Uttar Pradesh (nearly 30 per cent).
[ Rs 100 = €1.27 ]