Bengal potato farmers make a killing on lower output

Gordon B. Johnson

Lufthar Rahaman, a 46-yr-aged potato farmer from Gurap village in Hooghly district, about 65 km from Kolkata, is fetching all over four instances far more on his potatoes this yr on the back again of predicted fall in output. Rahaman is earning nearly ₹520 for a bag of potatoes (just […]

Lufthar Rahaman, a 46-yr-aged potato farmer from Gurap village in Hooghly district, about 65 km from Kolkata, is fetching all over four instances far more on his potatoes this yr on the back again of predicted fall in output.

Rahaman is earning nearly ₹520 for a bag of potatoes (just one bag includes sixty kg) this yr, compared with ₹120-130 a bag same period final yr. Productivity is down by all over 29 for each cent on account of unfavourable weather conditions circumstances.

“This yr I have been capable to harvest only all over 70-80 baggage on just about every bigha (about .4 acre) of land as compared to ninety-a hundred baggage a bigha through standard a long time. For some farmers, the efficiency is nonetheless reduce at all over fifty-sixty baggage/bigha. This has served selling prices to firm up,” Rahaman explained to BusinessLine.

Rahaman owns shut to four bighas of land in Gurap.

West Bengal, the second largest producer of potatoes in the state, is possible to have a reduce crop this yr. The State, which generates shut to a hundred and ten-one hundred fifteen lakh tonnes of the tuber each yr, is believed to deliver shut to just ninety lakh tonnes this yr. This is even reduce than final years’ output of ninety two-lakh tonne.

Rain havoc

Even though the first estimates experienced recommended that potato output would be at minimum ten for each cent larger this yr compared with 2019, premature rains hampered both sowing and harvesting of the crop. Potato cultivation in Bengal is unfold about shut to 4.six lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are essential growing districts.

Sowing of potato (early variety – Pokhraj) ordinarily begins as early as finish-Oct and harvesting of the crop begins by finish-December. The sowing for afterwards variety (the regular variant – Jyoti) begins a tiny afterwards, sometime all over second week of November and proceeds up to December. The harvesting of this crop ordinarily begins by the second week of January.

However, sowing of early variety got delayed owing to premature rains, thereby delaying harvesting. The sowing of the afterwards variety (Jyoti), too, got delayed. Harvesting of early variety begins by December twenty, but this time it could not be carried out owing to premature rains. Harvesting began only from January 7.

In addition, the crop in some of the districts these types of as Bankura and West Midnapore had been impacted by the late blight sickness. Regardless of the State Governing administration interventions by sending teams to these districts to consider preventive measures, some crop could have got weakened by the sickness, a trader said.

Rates to remain firm

In accordance to Patit Pavan De, member, West Bengal Chilly Storage Association, the believed reduce output in the State coupled with a reduce crop both in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are possible to retain selling prices of Bengal potatoes firm at latest concentrations.

Wholesale cost of potato (Jyoti variety) is at the moment ruling at all over ₹1,a hundred a quintal, compared with ₹1,000-one,050 a quintal same period final yr. The retail selling prices are also ruling firm with Jyoti fetching shut to ₹16-eighteen a kg and the improved good quality Chandramukhi potato earning ₹22 a kg.

Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer of potato in the state with a total output of shut to one hundred forty lakh tonnes, is anticipating a ten for each cent decrease in output this yr. Punjab is also possible to witness a reduce crop on account of unfavourable weather conditions circumstances.

“The crop in both UP and Punjab is predicted to be reduce this yr, and this is possible to retain selling prices of Bengal potatoes firm at all over ₹9.five-ten.five a kg transferring forward,” De said.

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