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India: Punjab potato growers face losses, urge government assistance amid low prices

Potato growers in India’s Punjab state are experiencing heavy losses due to a significant decrease in the selling price of their produce, according to a news report published by The Tribune.

This year, they are receiving only Rs 4-4.50 per kg (5 US cents), a sharp decline from the previous year’s rate of Rs 17-18 per kg (22 US cents). The reason for the crash in prices is the bumper crop in other potato-growing states, which has led to an oversupply and reduced demand for Punjab’s potatoes.

Punjab is a major seed potato producer, supplying to states like West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. However, the reduced demand from these states has further contributed to the low prices.

To cope with the situation, farmers are storing their potatoes in cold storage, anticipating an increase in prices in the coming months. Unfortunately, the current rates do not allow them to recover their input costs, which are around Rs 7-8 per kg. Farmers are experiencing a loss of about 50% at these rates.

In response to the challenges they face, potato growers are calling on the state government to fix a minimum price for their crop, ensuring that they can at least recover their input costs.

Source: The Tribune. Read the full story here
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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