Potato prices, which have enhanced by approximately 45 per cent in the last fortnight, are probably to remain agency going ahead, on the back of an estimated fall in output and huge-scale stocking by consumers in West Bengal.
Selling prices generally witness a softening craze at the time of harvesting, which commonly gets finished by March-finish. The arrival of the new crop delivers down prices. Even so, this calendar year has been unique.
The wholesale rate of potato (Jyoti wide range) is at this time ruling at all over ₹1,600 a quintal, virtually 45 per cent larger than ₹1,a hundred a quintal noted in the 2nd week of March. Retail prices are also ruling agency, with Jyoti fetching near to ₹20-22 a kg (₹16-18 a kg in early March) and the much better excellent Chandramukhi potato earning ₹25-26 a kg (₹22 a kg).
Very low output
Apart from the the latest spurt in buying, estimated decrease output in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab this calendar year has also led to a larger demand from customers for potatoes in Bengal.
“The moment the lockdown was declared, people purchased potato in bulk quantity and saved it as there was fear that they may well not get their supplies later. This despatched the prices zooming substantial. Potatoes from our State have also been going into Bihar and Jharkhand, as output in Uttar Pradesh is also estimated to be decrease this calendar year. This has pushed up our prices,” explained a potato trader.
Selling prices are probably to stabilise to all over ₹1,300-one,five hundred a quintal in April in May well once again, there is envisioned to be a marginal boost once the potatoes saved in cold storage begin arriving into the marketplace, resources explained.
Potato harvesting in West Bengal, which is generally full by the 3rd week of March, is even now lagging by all over 5-eight per cent. Loading of potatoes into cold storage, which is generally full by March-finish, is also down by all over 10 per cent so significantly this calendar year, on account of labour shortage in the wake of the the latest coronavirus outbreak.
Harvesting of potatoes in West Bengal was already delayed by much more than a fortnight this calendar year on account of premature rains. Sowing of the early wide range — Pokhraj — which generally commences as early as finish-Oct and the later wide range — Jyoti — which commences all over the 2nd week of November, was delayed pursuing premature rains. Hence harvesting, which generally start off by December 20, could only begin from January seven this calendar year.
Delayed sowing and harvesting also impacted the output of the tuber in Bengal. The State, which creates near to 110-115 lakh tonnes of the tuber every calendar year, is estimated to develop near to just 90 lakh tonnes this calendar year. This is even decrease than last year’s output of 92 lakh tonnes.
According to Patit Pavan De, member, West Bengal Chilly Storage Affiliation, over 5 per cent of crop is however to be harvested, principally in the districts of Midnapore and Bankura. Potato cultivation in Bengal is unfold over near to 4.six lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are essential rising districts.
“Harvesting is even now continuing in the districts of Midnapore and Bankura. Loading in cold storages is all over 75-eighty per cent this calendar year, as when compared to 88-90 per cent same period last calendar year. When this lockdown was declared we were being at the peak of loading, there were being some preliminary labour problems and this delayed the loading at some of the cold storage,” De informed BusinessLine.
There are all over four hundred cold storages in Bengal, which are capable of storing near to 70 lakh tonnes of potatoes.