Potato prices likely to gain on lower Bengal crop

Potato selling prices are likely to rule increased this yr in contrast with past calendar year on an expected fall in creation in West Bengal, the second-largest producer of the spud in the nation.

The tuber’s production is most likely to be decrease by all around 20 for each cent at close to 8.5-9 million tonnes (mt) this yr due to delayed sowing on the back again of premature rains. Very last 12 months, the Condition harvested a bumper crop, just about a 16 for each cent rise in generation at 11 mt lcompared with 9.5 mt lin 2020.

Psychological influence

In accordance to Tushar Kanti Ghosh, President of West Bengal Chilly Storage Association, the wholesale selling price of early variety potatoes (Pokraj) has surged by 140 per cent to ₹1,200 a quintal now from ₹500-550 a quintal same time previous yr.

The effect of the crop in Bengal will most likely mirror in potato rates across the country, explained Ashish Guru, Senior Vice-President, Federation of Chilly Storage Associations of India. “There will be at minimum some psychological influence of the progress,” he stated.

At the Agra agricultural produce internet marketing committee yard, a person of the premier marketplaces for the spud, costs ended up ₹780-800 a quintal, up ₹200 around the exact same interval a yr in the past. As of February 23, arrivals in Uttar Pradesh are pegged at 59,396 tonnes from January 1 compared with 77,421 tonnes throughout the 12 months-in the past interval.

In Bengal, the loading price of potatoes in chilly storage has increased by 60 per cent to ₹15-16 a kg this yr against ₹8-10 a kg in the year-back period. This would typically indicate that the tuber could fetch anywhere between ₹25 and ₹26 a kg in the wholesale sector when the shares are introduced from the chilly storage for the duration of April-May possibly. Potatoes freshly cultivated from the farm are generally eaten for the 1st 3-4 months of a year, put up which the saved potatoes begin building their way into the sector.

“We knowledgeable untimely rains for the duration of the sowing interval which led to rotting of some crop. Though re-cultivation was done on some parcels of land, nevertheless, it may possibly not prove to be superior ample to offset the crop that we lost. So, we anticipate a lower creation this 12 months,” Ghosh told BusinessLine immediately after the annual basic assembly of the affiliation on Wednesday.

Bengal witnessed untimely rains in November and early December that influenced the sowing of the crop. Almost 55-60 for every cent of sowing was complete (when Cyclone Jawad strike) in the important escalating regions of Hooghly, Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan. The untimely rains, which experienced left the fields inundated, are not only probably to influence production but also the good quality of new crop.

The early wide range tuber, which normally starts arriving by the stop of December early January, started out coming into the industry only by conclusion of January.

Cultivation of potatoes in Bengal is distribute in excess of near to 4.6 lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are important escalating districts.

Guru mentioned the crop lack in Bengal would weigh on the offer chain in perspective of the relevance of the eastern Condition in output. A ultimate photograph on the crop would be accessible soon after output is assessed afterwards this week by associations throughout the country, he explained.

Loading to be decrease

Chilly storages are probable to be loaded only up to 80 for each cent of their capability this calendar year because of to the decrease crop from about 95-97 for every cent final year. There are around 400 chilly storages in Bengal and the overall storage potential is estimated to be shut to 7 mt.

In accordance to Patit Paban De, member, West Bengal Cold Storage Affiliation, manufacturing in some of the other essential expanding areas, like Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, is good this 12 months and costs are also comparatively lessen than Bengal A excellent amount of potatoes from some of these markets has been earning inroads into the Bengal market place. This may possibly have a “suppressing” effects on selling prices.

“The value at which potatoes have begun loading into cold storages is very higher this year. Now whether or not it goes greater or continues to remain at these degrees is one thing that we can have an understanding of only when a clearer picture of precise crop emerges. Nonetheless, we be expecting charges to continue to be company as of now,” he mentioned.

With inputs from Subramani Ra Mancombu

Published on

February 23, 2022