Potato Prices Soar in India
Potato prices in India have risen to Rs 900-1,000 (USD12.5 – USD14) a quintal, which is in fact a doubling of prices from the Rs 400-600 a quintal, which was steady for the past several years. After the 2016-17 price-crash, many farmers in the potato regions of the country had given up on potato cultivation, but things are looking up this year.
“For the past several years, we were only able to recover our costs by cultivating potatoes, but this time there is a potential for good profits. In January, the rate went above Rs 1,400, which was a first in my knowledge,” said Ram Sagar Verma, a large-scale potato cultivator from Belhara village in Barabanki district, Uttar Pradesh, according to gaonconnection.com
Potatoes are grown in several states including Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka in India. But Uttar Pradesh tops this list.
“This time, the potato crop has done well. It will really help farmers if we are able to sell potatoes at Rs 1,000 per quintal, as we have so far, in February. If we store potatoes, the rate might go up to Rs 1,300-1,400 per quintal,” said Ramchandra Verma, a farmer living in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh. He owns a 12-acre potato farm and only recently he has sold his produce.
Potato cultivation costs about Rs 30,000-40,000 per acre and in case of better crop production, yields between 100 and 150 quintals.
This potato season is set to have poor conditions throughout. Several rounds of rain have caused damage in several districts, including Agra and Farrukhabad. Also, the frost has affected the cultivation in several districts. In many other states too, the production has been affected.