Asia, India, China, Middle East

India: Cold weather causing potato crop failures

Extreme cold weather in northeast India has claimed its first casualty: the potato. Farmers on the fringes of the state capital of Jharkhand, Ranchi, say low temperatures have ruined more than half of their crops and a supply crisis was imminent in city markets, which by default will jack up prices of the otherwise humble vegetable. Deepak Mahto, an elderly farmer, said they often brought stocks from Bengal and Uttar Pradesh to bridge the demand-supply gap and ensure price stability, but the yield in the neighbouring states had suffered as much as in Jharkhand. Kishwar Sahu, who owns land in Chandaghasi, said the plummeting Celsius had reduced his potato production to one-eighth of last year’s crop. A potato vendor in the city currently the price of a kilo ranged between Rs 8 and Rs 14. “Now, that is because old stocks are still available. Once that is exhausted, the price will rise because as far as I know crops in Bengal and UP have suffered too,” he summed it up. More

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