Due to the way the rates of potato are increasing wildly, the plate of common people remains continuously expensive. Usually after the rains, the prices of vegetables are reduced, but this time their prices have also not reduced and the potato too remains at a high price. In the retail market, potato is currently selling at around Rs 35-40 per kg.
Retail shopkeepers say that the arrival of potato is decreasing in the market, then there is no question of its price going down. On the status of potatoes, Financial Express Online spoke to Rajendra Sharma, General Secretary of Azadpur Mandi Potato Onion Merchant Association (POMA), about the status of potatoes. He informed about the commodity situation by taking it.
Potato boom due to Adhimas and Navratri
Usually, Navratri starts after Shraddha Paksha, but this time there is a difference of about a month between Shraddha and Navratri. This difference is called Adhimaas. Consumption of potatoes increases during Navratri. According to Poma General Secretary Rajendra Sharma, the consumption of potatoes increases in Navratri, but this time due to Adhimas, the consumption of potatoes has increased by a month, due to which the prices of potatoes are rising. Navratri is starting from 17 October this year and Navratri will end when Dussehra comes on 25 October.
Decrease in potato arrivals
In addition, to increase in consumption, there is also a decrease in the arrival of potatoes. Rajendra Sharma estimates that this time around 25-30 percent potatoes are coming down. At present, most of the potatoes in the market are coming from stores in South India and Western North India. Potato is coming very little from Punjab. Due to this, potato shortage is happening.
Corona epidemic and impact of lockdown
Potato consumption has been affected due to Corona epidemic. According to POMA general secretary Rajendra Sharma, during the lockdown, consumption of potatoes increased indirectly, that is, people ate potatoes, the consumption of potato chips increased wildly. This means that despite the hotels being closed, there was no major decline in the consumption of potatoes. Potato chips factories have not had a significant impact due to the Corona epidemic because most of the tasks in it are automatic, from peeling potatoes to packing chips.
Partial relief can be provided after Diwali
The general secretary of Poma is hopeful that the softening of potato prices will come after the arrival of kharif potato in the market. Potato crop comes twice a year. Sowing of kharif potato takes place between May to July and its harvest comes from September to November. Apart from this, the sowing of Rabi Potato is from the end of September to November and its harvest comes between March to December.
Official figures of production
According to the website of the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, 491.74 lakh tonnes of rabi potato was produced in the 2018-19 season, whereas this time the estimated 2019-20 is 501.96 lakh tonnes. According to consumption, the increase in potato production is very less. Apart from this, the special thing is that in 2018-19, 10.16 lakh tonnes of Kharif potato was produced, whereas this time estimate is only 8.45 lakh tonnes. Therefore, according to the data, even after the arrival of Kharif potatoes, more relief should not be expected.
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