India: Windfall for Punjab’s potato farmers as crop hits all-time high prices

It’s a happy time for the potato farmers of Punjab, with their crop hitting the highest rate ever known due to low production in other states because of a delayed monsoon last year.

Farmers are currently getting Rs 1,600 per quintal for their table crop, which is currently being harvested. For the past four years, they had been getting Rs 300 to Rs 400 per quintal. Traders and stockists of other states like Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are hoping to get higher prices after purchasing the crop from Punjab.

Before this, the highest rate for their potato crop was recorded in 2013-14, when it was Rs 1,200-1,300 per quintal.

“My family has been cultivating potato for the past four decades. I have been doing for the last three decades. I never got Rs 1,500 to 1,600 per quintal for my crop,” said farmer Gurmail Singh, who sows potato on a 150-acre plot.

“I hope to recover half my losses which I suffered in the past 5-6 years due to the abysmal rate of the crop,” he added.

Apart from the high rate of the table crop, the varieties meant for processing purposes to make chips, potato fingers, etc. are being sold at the rate of Rs 25 to 30 per kg by farmers to traders. The rate of seed is also between Rs 18 to 22 per kg currently.

Jagtar Singh, a farmer from Nakodar, said, “This is the highest rate I have seen, and I have been growing potatoes for over two decades. “I am selling the seed potato as well as table potato when the market is up instead of storing the crop in cold stores as I want to recover all my losses,” he added.

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