Bengal potato farmers make a killing on lower output

Lufthar Rahaman, a 46-calendar year-previous potato farmer from Gurap village in Hooghly district, approximately sixty five km from Kolkata, is fetching close to four times much more on his potatoes this calendar year on the again of anticipated slide in output.

Rahaman is earning virtually ₹520 for a bag of potatoes (one particular bag consists of 60 kg) this calendar year, in contrast with ₹120-one hundred thirty a bag very same period of time final calendar year. Productivity is down by close to 29 per cent on account of unfavourable weather disorders.

“This calendar year I have been ready to harvest only close to 70-eighty baggage on just about every bigha (approximately .4 acre) of land as in contrast to ninety-one hundred baggage a bigha throughout normal several years. For some farmers, the productivity is even now decreased at close to fifty-60 baggage/bigha. This has served costs to agency up,” Rahaman advised BusinessLine.

Rahaman owns close to four bighas of land in Gurap.

West Bengal, the next premier producer of potatoes in the region, is possible to have a decreased crop this calendar year. The Condition, which makes close to 110-a hundred and fifteen lakh tonnes of the tuber each calendar year, is estimated to develop close to just ninety lakh tonnes this calendar year. This is even decreased than final years’ output of ninety two-lakh tonne.

Rain havoc

Though the first estimates experienced recommended that potato output would be at the very least ten per cent larger this calendar year in contrast with 2019, untimely rains hampered equally sowing and harvesting of the crop. Potato cultivation in Bengal is spread above close to 4.6 lakh hectares of land. Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, East Midnapore and West Midnapore are critical expanding districts.

Sowing of potato (early range – Pokhraj) typically commences as early as end-October and harvesting of the crop begins by end-December. The sowing for later on range (the normal variant – Jyoti) commences a tiny later on, sometime close to next 7 days of November and carries on up to December. The harvesting of this crop typically commences by the next 7 days of January.

Even so, sowing of early range obtained delayed owing to untimely rains, therefore delaying harvesting. The sowing of the later on range (Jyoti), far too, obtained delayed. Harvesting of early range commences by December 20, but this time it could not be completed owing to untimely rains. Harvesting began only from January 7.

What’s more, the crop in some of the districts this kind of as Bankura and West Midnapore have been impacted by the late blight illness. Regardless of the Condition Governing administration interventions by sending teams to these districts to acquire preventive actions, some crop could have obtained ruined by the illness, a trader mentioned.

Charges to stay agency

In accordance to Patit Pavan De, member, West Bengal Chilly Storage Affiliation, the estimated decreased output in the Condition coupled with a decreased crop equally in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are possible to keep costs of Bengal potatoes agency at existing stages.

Wholesale price of potato (Jyoti range) is at present ruling at close to ₹1,one hundred a quintal, in contrast with ₹1,000-one,050 a quintal very same period of time final calendar year. The retail costs are also ruling agency with Jyoti fetching close to ₹16-18 a kg and the much better high-quality Chandramukhi potato earning ₹22 a kg.

Uttar Pradesh, the premier producer of potato in the region with a total output of close to one hundred forty lakh tonnes, is anticipating a ten per cent decline in output this calendar year. Punjab is also possible to witness a decreased crop on account of unfavourable weather disorders.

“The crop in equally UP and Punjab is expected to be decreased this calendar year, and this is possible to keep costs of Bengal potatoes agency at close to ₹9.5-ten.5 a kg transferring ahead,” De mentioned.