In Uttar Pradesh, the largest tuber producing state in India, potato prices have spiked around 50%, as abnormally high rains this month have damaged crops and affected harvesting in the country. Prices are rising in other states as well, as traders anticipate lower-than-expected output in India, which in fact is the largest potato producing country after China.
Farmers are selling their produce of tuber at more than double rates compared to last year when prices had crashed by this time of season.
The wholesale prices of potato have soared to Rs 14-15 per kilogram in Uttar Pradesh this week after it had mellowed down to Rs 9-10 at the beginning of March. Prices have also picked up this week in West Bengal, the second largest potato producing state, because of demand from buyers of other states who are trying to bridge a shortfall in their areas.
"Buyers from states including Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh are proactive in North Bengal as they anticipate a fall in local production," Patit Paban De, a former president of the West Bengal Cold Storage Association, told economictimes.indiatimes.com. He said prices were firming up in West Bengal after they had mellowed to Rs 11-12 per kg.
This year, the prices had begun rising in February after the yields turned out to be lower than expected in major potato growing states including UR Pushed by the suspected shortfall in output and the need to stock up for the months ahead, cold-store owners and traders have paid twice the rates compared with the previous year to producers.
[Rs 100 = €1.27 ]