During 2009 Pakistan exported around 250,000 metric tonnes of spuds, while this year to the end of March, it is expected to be in the range of 150,000 metric tonnes. The export of the crop is highest during the months January to March.
The decline could deprive the country earnings of invaluable foreign currency, as Indian potatoes are currently in high demand in the region on account of their low price. Despite bumper crops of potato during the current season, exporters have failed to derive any mileage mainly on account of lower price of Indian potato attracting foreign buyers.
Indian potatoes are currently available to foreign importers at $180 to $200 per metric tonne, far less than the Pakistani yield rates of $220 to $230 per metric tonne in the international market.
Exporters have been blaming record fertiliser rates, increasing seed cost, higher diesel price in Pakistan and costly rates of running tractors, which have pushed the price of potato sharply up.