Potato prices, which have greater by approximately forty five for each cent in the previous fortnight, are probable to stay organization heading forward, on the back again of an believed fall in creation and huge-scale stocking by shoppers in West Bengal.
Rates typically witness a softening craze at the time of harvesting, which normally receives finished by March-conclusion. The arrival of the new crop provides down prices. On the other hand, this 12 months has been various.
The wholesale value of potato (Jyoti wide range) is at the moment ruling at all over ₹1,600 a quintal, virtually forty five for each cent bigger than ₹1,a hundred a quintal claimed in the 2nd 7 days of March. Retail prices are also ruling organization, with Jyoti fetching close to ₹20-22 a kg (₹16-18 a kg in early March) and the improved high-quality Chandramukhi potato earning ₹25-26 a kg (₹22 a kg).
Apart from the latest spurt in purchasing, believed decreased creation in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab this 12 months has also led to a bigger demand from customers for potatoes in Bengal.
“The moment the lockdown was announced, people today bought potato in bulk amount and saved it as there was worry that they might not get their provides later. This despatched the prices zooming substantial. Potatoes from our Condition have also been heading into Bihar and Jharkhand, as creation in Uttar Pradesh is also believed to be decreased this 12 months. This has pushed up our prices,” explained a potato trader.
Rates are probable to stabilise to all over ₹1,three hundred-1,five hundred a quintal in April in Might again, there is predicted to be a marginal maximize the moment the potatoes saved in cold storage commence arriving into the industry, sources explained.
Potato harvesting in West Bengal, which is typically comprehensive by the 3rd 7 days of March, is however lagging by all over five-eight for each cent. Loading of potatoes into cold storage, which is typically comprehensive by March-conclusion, is also down by all over 10 for each cent so much this 12 months, on account of labour shortage in the wake of the latest coronavirus outbreak.
Harvesting of potatoes in West Bengal was already delayed by extra than a fortnight this 12 months on account of premature rains. Sowing of the early wide range — Pokhraj — which typically starts as early as conclusion-October and the later wide range — Jyoti — which starts all over the 2nd 7 days of November, was delayed adhering to premature rains. That’s why harvesting, which typically start out by December twenty, could only commence from January 7 this 12 months.
Delayed sowing and harvesting also impacted the creation of the tuber in Bengal. The Condition, which provides close to one hundred ten-one hundred fifteen lakh tonnes of the tuber every single 12 months, is believed to make close to just ninety lakh tonnes this 12 months. This is even decreased than previous year’s creation of 92 lakh tonnes.
According to Patit Pavan De, member, West Bengal Cold Storage Association, above five for each cent of crop is however to be harvested, generally in the districts of Midnapore and Bankura. Potato cultivation in Bengal is spread above close to four.six lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are key developing districts.
“Harvesting is however continuing in the districts of Midnapore and Bankura. Loading in cold storages is all over seventy five-eighty for each cent this 12 months, as as opposed to 88-ninety for each cent very same period previous 12 months. When this lockdown was announced we had been at the peak of loading, there had been some original labour challenges and this delayed the loading at some of the cold storage,” De instructed BusinessLine.
There are all over four hundred cold storages in Bengal, which are able of storing close to 70 lakh tonnes of potatoes.