India ranks second in potato production globally followed by China. As per the trade sources, potato production this year is expected to be 22% more as compared with last year.
This year, the production is likely to be close to 110,000 lakh tons as compared to 90 lakh tons produced last year. A bumper crop in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab has forced Potato prices in West Bengal to fell sharply.
The potato prices in West Bengal has dropped around 40% on yearly basis. As per the first advance estimates in the year 2016-2017 by the Agriculture Ministry, the potato output in West Bengal has been pegged at 84.27 lakh tonnes.
The increased inflow of potato production from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have curtailed the prices of the crop in West Bengal. As per sources, early variety Potato is trading at Rs. 150 per 50 kg at the cold storage level.
The prices varied between Rs. 250 to 300 for the early variety during last year. Later around February 2016, Prices further plummeted to around Rs. 160.
At present, cold storage owners have around 150 lakh kg of potato stock with them. As per trade sources, cold storages have been hoarding stock since December 2016, anticipating higher prices. Though, it was expected that demonetization would impact the sowing adversely, leading to lower production and higher prices.
Sowing, this year, increased thereby leading to a bumper production in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. The excess stock flowed into Odisha and other traditional markets catered by West Bengal has also exerted pressure on Potato prices.
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