The price of potatoes which was oscillating between Rs 14 to Rs 15 per kg in the wholesale market has tumbled by 50 to 60 per cent. Presently, the price of potatoes in the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Kalamna is quoted between Rs 8 and Rs 10 per kg. Sources attributed the fall in price to expectation of bumper crop in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bengal. West Bengal is anticipating output of 120 lakh tonne this year while Uttar Pradesh is expecting 144 lakh tonnes.
The price has also been affected due to restriction on export. Jayprakash Vasani, former President of The Kanda Batata Adatiya Welfare Association, Kalamna said, “The increase in the storage capacity is also one of the major reasons for the fall of price this year.” Adatiyas who are into the trading of potatoes have stored the produce in their warehouses in large quantity. Potatoes which were stored in godowns are warehouses are coming into the market in large quantity fearing that potatoes may not get decayed in the rainy season, he said. Adatiyas have constructed warehouses to store their produce that too in a modernised way. Daily, there is average influx of 20 to 30 trucks of potatoes in Kalamna.
“If the sowing is good this year, the price will remain within the reach of common man. For the last two years, it has been noticed that farmers are not happy with the returns which they get on potatoes,” sources said. Sources said, like other cash crops Government should put a cap or MRP on price of potatoes. This will not discourage potatoes growing farmers in the country.