Agri Business

Potato prices ease as early varieties enter markets

| | Updated on: Jan 16, 2014

With the arrival of early varieties, potato prices in West Bengal dropped by 33 per cent over last week.

According to Patit Paban De, a member of the West Bengal Cold Storage Association, prices in the wholesale market are hovering at about Rs 800 a quintal (Rs 750 at the farm-gate), against Rs 1,200 a quintal a week ago.

However, the tuber’s prices are currently on the higher side compared with the same period a year ago. At this time last year, they were ruling at Rs 700 a quintal.

“Though prices were supposed to drop even further with the arrival of early varieties (i.e. S6, Pukhraj) and the onset of the harvesting season, they are still higher than last year due to delayed sowing and slow harvest,” De told Business Line .

“The next 15-30 days are key for determining both production and prices of potato,” he said.

Stating that this year, potato production in West Bengal is expected to cross 100 lakh tonnes (91 lakh tonnes last year), Subrata Biswas, Agriculture Secretary, West Bengal, said: “Current price movements can be attributed to the muted arrivals of the crop so far.”

Retail market Meanwhile, in major retail markets, early varieties are ruling at Rs 16 a kg. It is Rs 11 a kg in suburban markets.

According to Biswas, Kolkata retail markets witnessed a “unique phenomenon” as both early varieties and some old stock are sold at the same price. Price trend in the suburbs and districts are normal, he said.

ayan.pramanik@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 16, 2014

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