Frost spells bad news for potato growers

M.R. Subramani Recently in Indore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on February 23, 2011



In the next couple of months, you may have to foot a higher price for potato chips and wafers. This is because the potato crop in Madhya Pradesh that is mainly used in making chips has been affected by frost this year.

“The crop is lower this year and surely, prices of chips will rise,” said Mr Ajay Agrawal, a trader at the New Aloo-Piaz Mandi.


The potato crop usually arrives during February in Madhya Pradesh. “All arrivals get over in 25 days time since farmers wouldn't want to hold the produce for a longer time,” said Mr Agrawal.

Usually, arrivals of 40,000-50,000 bags (60-kg each) spread out evenly for 25 days. “This year, the arrivals got over in 15 days. This should give a fair idea about the crop,” said Mr Agrawal. “Arrivals are at least 50 per cent lower than same time last year,” said Mr Naushad Khan, a trader at Sanwer Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) yard in Indore district.

Farmers in districts such as Indore, Dewas and Ujjain have reported severe damage to potato crops due frost and cold weather. “The crop I had sown in two hectares has been totally affected by frost,” said Mr Rustam Patel of Dhonk Khurd village in Dewas district.

Potato in Madhya Pradesh is grown in some 80,000 acres with production in the State being a little over 1 million tonnes (mt), making it the fifth largest producer. However, its importance can be gauged from the fact that companies such as Parle, ITC, Pepsi and others source potato from this central Indian State for potato chips and wafers. “The most crucial aspect deciding overall potato price as also for chips will be the Uttar Pradesh crop,” said Mr Agrawal.

The crop in Uttar Pradesh will begin arriving in markets from this weekend. There are, however, disturbing reports of rain in the growing areas. In Uttar Pradesh, potato is grown in over 5.5 lakh hectares and production in the State is nearly 14 mt. West Bengal, with a production of over 8 mt, is the second largest producer.

Meanwhile, the overall sentiment in the potato market is bullish with prices rising over 10 per cent this month. At the Agra APMC, potato prices increased to Rs 340 a quintal on Wednesday against Rs 305 at the beginning of the month. Arrivals are steady at over 1,250 tonnes a day.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on February 23, 2011
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor