Kolkata, April 26 Potato prices in West Bengal is ruling nearly ₹4-5 a kg lower this year as compared to last year on the back of a higher production. Wholesale price of the tuber (Jyoti variety) is close to ₹14-15 a kg this year as against ₹19-20 last year.
However, since the average price of loading of potatoes in cold storage was close to ₹9 a kg this year, as against ₹18 a kg last year, the industry is hopeful that the farmer will not incur losses so far as prices hold steady at the current levels.
According to Patit Paban De, member and past president of West Bengal Cold Storage Association, the loading price of tuber was higher last year as the production was lower and the general sentiment in the market was that the prices would go up further.
Though the prices started on a firm note with the tuber fetching around ₹19-20 a kg at the beginning of the season it witnessed a significant drop later. This year the loading price is around ₹9 a kg and after accounting for all expenses the farmer is likely to stand to gain ₹2-3 a kg at the current price.
Higher output in W. Bengal, UP
West Bengal, which is the second largest producer of potatoes after Uttar Pradesh is likely to register higher production this year. Though the official estimates of the crop size in the State is expected to be close to 130-140 lakh tonne this year, industry expects the crop to be slightly lower at around 100-110 lakh tonne. This is almost 29 per cent higher than last year’s production of around 85 lakh tonne and nearly 16 per cent higher than the State’s average production of around 95-100 lakh tonne a year.
UP is likely to have a production of close to 240 lakh tonne as per official estimates.
“With potatoes at the farm end getting exhausted, the release from cold storage has begun in some districts like Midnapore and Burdwan. We expect release to pick up further in coming days. Price of good quality Jyoti potato is close to ₹14-15 a kg. If prices remain at current levels then we expect a good quantity of potatoes to move into neighbouring states. This should help keep prices firm at current levels,” De told businessline.