Potato surplus in mandis brings down prices, growers feel the heat : The Tribune India

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Potato surplus in mandis brings down prices, growers feel the heat

Potato surplus in mandis brings down prices, growers feel the heat

Labourers pile up harvested potato crop at a field in Shahabad on Thursday. Tribune photo



Tribune News Service

Nitish Sharma

Kurukshetra, December 28

Lower prices being fetched by potato crop in the market have become a matter of concern for farmers. The crop is being sold at Rs 250-550 a quintal as per its quality.

The farmers claimed that they were struggling to even recover the cost of production as it was Rs 650-800 a quintal. However, some good quality produce is fetching Rs 520-770 a quintal. About 30,000 acres in the district was under potato crop.

Rakesh Kumar, a potato grower, said, “I have sold my produce for Rs 400-550 a quintal, but my production cost is Rs 700-800 a quintal. The government claims that it compensates the farmers under the Bhavantar Bharpai scheme but the secured price for potato is Rs 600 a quintal. It should be at least Rs 800 a quintal.” Sukhchain Singh, another potato grower, said, “I have sold some stock for Rs 500 a quintal but prices are expected to go down in the coming days. The farmers have no option but to sell at cheaper rates. We can just hope that the government will compensate us for the loss and release the amount on time.”

The traders blamed higher arrivals and lower demand for the poor prices. In wholesale, potatoes are being sold for Rs 5 to 6 a kg and in retail, it is being sold at Rs 10 a kg.

Kulbir Singh, a trader, said, “Higher arrivals coupled with stable demand are the prime reasons behind lower prices. To protect farmers from such a situation, the government should start doing surveys of crops during sowing and issue advisory to farmers asking them not to do excessive sowing so that prices do not crash.”

Anshul Bansal, another trader, said, “The market sees low rates every year but this year, these rates have come a little early. To get better prices, the farmers should shift to better qualities that can be stored in cold stores and sold later in the year. The potato being harvested now is known as ‘kacha’ potato and it can’t be stored. The produce that will be harvested around March will be stored in cold stores and sold till October and farmers will get better prices for their produce.”

Pawan Kumar, secretary, Pipli grain market, said, “Initially in November, the prices were Rs 1,000 to 1,200 a quintal but as arrivals picked up, the prices went down gradually. About 5 lakh quintals have arrived in the market so far.”

Meanwhile, Director General, Directorate of Horticulture, Dr Arjun Singh, said, “The department is introducing new seed (7008 Kufri Uday) to help farmers in get better prices in the market for their produce. It is an early variety and farmers will get better prices as early varieties get better prices. The potato crop is covered under the Bhavantar Bharpai scheme by the government and the secured price is Rs 600 a quintal. Farmers are compensated with the difference between the secured price and sale price. The government has given Rs 32 crore for potato farmers this year under Bhavantar scheme.”

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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