Potato prices likely to gain on lower Bengal crop

Potato price ranges are likely to rule bigger this 12 months compared with final 12 months on an predicted drop in manufacturing in West Bengal, the next-premier producer of the spud in the place.

The tuber’s production is possible to be lessen by all around 20 for each cent at near to 8.5-9 million tonnes (mt) this calendar year due to delayed sowing on the back again of untimely rains. Very last 12 months, the Point out harvested a bumper crop, just about a 16 per cent increase in production at 11 mt lcompared with 9.5 mt lin 2020.

Psychological effect

According to Tushar Kanti Ghosh, President of West Bengal Chilly Storage Affiliation, the wholesale value of early wide variety potatoes (Pokraj) has surged by 140 for every cent to ₹1,200 a quintal presently from ₹500-550 a quintal exact time last 12 months.

The impression of the crop in Bengal will probably mirror in potato costs throughout the place, reported Ashish Expert, Senior Vice-President, Federation of Cold Storage Associations of India. “There will be at the very least some psychological effects of the growth,” he said.

At the Agra agricultural develop marketing committee lawn, a single of the biggest marketplaces for the spud, costs have been ₹780-800 a quintal, up ₹200 above the same time period a 12 months ago. As of February 23, arrivals in Uttar Pradesh are pegged at 59,396 tonnes from January 1 as opposed with 77,421 tonnes during the calendar year-in the past period.

In Bengal, the loading cost of potatoes in cold storage has greater by 60 per cent to ₹15-16 a kg this yr versus ₹8-10 a kg in the yr-ago interval. This would usually suggest that the tuber could fetch any place in between ₹25 and ₹26 a kg in the wholesale current market when the stocks are unveiled from the chilly storage through April-Could. Potatoes freshly cultivated from the farm are typically consumed for the to start with 3-4 months of a year, put up which the saved potatoes start out earning their way into the current market.

“We expert untimely rains for the duration of the sowing interval which led to rotting of some crop. While re-cultivation was performed on some parcels of land, on the other hand, it may not confirm to be excellent more than enough to offset the crop that we lost. So, we expect a lessen creation this year,” Ghosh informed BusinessLine after the annual general assembly of the affiliation on Wednesday.

Bengal witnessed premature rains in November and early December that afflicted the sowing of the crop. Practically 55-60 for each cent of sowing was total (when Cyclone Jawad strike) in the crucial increasing locations of Hooghly, Midnapore, Bankura and Burdwan. The premature rains, which had left the fields inundated, are not only probable to effects manufacturing but also the excellent of new crop.

The early wide variety tuber, which ordinarily starts arriving by the end of December early January, started out coming into the market place only by close of January.

Cultivation of potatoes in Bengal is distribute about shut to 4.6 lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are essential escalating districts.

Guru mentioned the crop lack in Bengal would weigh on the supply chain in watch of the significance of the jap Point out in manufacturing. A closing picture on the crop would be accessible after output is assessed afterwards this week by associations across the region, he said.

Loading to be reduced

Chilly storages are most likely to be loaded only up to 80 per cent of their ability this calendar year owing to the lessen crop versus all-around 95-97 per cent previous yr. There are all-around 400 cold storages in Bengal and the overall storage capability is estimated to be shut to 7 mt.

In accordance to Patit Paban De, member, West Bengal Chilly Storage Association, output in some of the other crucial rising regions, together with Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, is excellent this year and charges are also comparatively decreased than Bengal A great amount of potatoes from some of these markets has been producing inroads into the Bengal marketplace. This may have a “suppressing” affect on prices.

“The price at which potatoes have started out loading into chilly storages is very superior this year. Now regardless of whether it goes better or carries on to remain at these concentrations is some thing that we can comprehend only when a clearer image of actual crop emerges. Having said that, we expect costs to continue to be company as of now,” he reported.

With inputs from Subramani Ra Mancombu

Published on

February 23, 2022