From happy to sad. Indian potato growers, who were in a happy mood last year because of bumper production and who even preferred to store their produce in cold storage to sell later, are now disappointed because prices have declined and they are finding it difficult to sell their produce.
"Last year it was a bumper crop in the country and instead of selling, farmers kept their produce in cold storage, but now they are not able to get the price offered last year," Jaswinder Singh Sangha, Secretary of the Jalandhar Potato Growers Association said.
At present, potato is being sold at 125 rupees per 50kg and if the situation continues, within a month the price may fall to even 50 rupees per 50kg, Sangha said, adding that although the farmers were facing difficulties selling the old crop, the new crop has also arrived in the market.
"If the situation does not improve, it will lead to the situation of 2000, when potato growers had to throw their crop on the road to lodge their protest," Sangha added.
Jung Bahadur Sangha, Secretary-General of the Confederation of Potato Seed Farmers, said that after selling the seed crop, not even half of the cost could have been obtained by the farmers.
"It is not only in Punjab that the situation is grim; major potato-growing states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh are also facing the same problems," he said adding that situation might improve next year as farmers have decided to reduce the area for potato