A clutch of Punjab-based potato farmers are in the final stages of signing a deal with Russian traders for exporting close to 10,000 tonnes of the crop to Russia for the first time, reported The Times of India.
"We are likely to finalise the deal within a day or two with Russian traders who have approached us for supply of potato crop to Russia," a progressive potato grower from Jalandhar district, who has been approached for the supply of crop, said on condition of anonymity.
About 10 potato growers from Punjab, who have been approached by the Russian traders, are reluctant to be identified and also refused to reveal the identity of the Russian traders. 'We do not want to disclose the details (of Russian traders) with whom discussions are going on till the deal is finalised...otherwise some other potato suppliers (from Punjab) may move in, which may jeopardize our deal,' he explained.
About two Russian traders have approached the potato growers of Punjab for the supply of the potato crop in the wake of massive shortage of potato in Russia because of low yield caused by extreme temperatures.
'Their (Russian traders) requirement is about one lakh tonnes of potato from Punjab but we could not meet this huge requirement. We could supply only 10,000 tonnes of crop and they will have to source crop from the open market,' he said.
What led Russian traders to source potato from Punjab was the low rate of the crop and its sufficient availability in view of the ongoing harvesting in the state. 'In view of huge shortage of potato, the rate (in Indian currency) has soared to Rs 30-32 per kg in Russia,' the potato grower from Punjab said.