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High Potato Prices in Mumbai are a great opportunity for Gujarat farmers.

Streetvendors in Mumbai

Noviembre 10, 2016
Despite a fresh crop arriving at the wholesale market in Vashi (Mumbai area), retail prices of potatoes have failed to show a commensurate decline. Traders say that there is shortfall of around 30% and this is due to scant supply from West Bengal, the second largest producer of the staple.

City receives potato mainly from West Bengal and Gujarat apart from Uttar Pradesh. However, supply from west Bengal has been poor thanks to unseasonal rains.

"Poor crops in Jharkhand, Odissa, and Bihar added to lower supply from West Bengal, and thus price of potato saw rise across the country," said a trader from Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi. In spite of wholesale market receiving fresh crop from neighboring state Gujarat, the price continues to hover over Rs13 per kg and thus, price in the retail market has not come down to Rs20 per kg.

High price of potato is disturbing household budget. "Other vegetable prices have come down a bit. But, potato continues to soar," said Manasi Sinha, a housewife from Vashi. She added that potato is one of the essential vegetables that is consumed everyday.

According to traders, there is a possibility of potato prices coming down if supply from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh became normal. These two states are the leaders in potato production and meet the demand of most of states across the country. In these two states, the output of potato has fallen by around 10-15%, and the impact is being seen through increasing prices.

Currently, the APMC is receiving around 60 potato-laden trucks, which is a normal supply. On Wednesday, APMC Vashi received 9020 quintals of potato and the average price was Rs13 per kg. "The normal supply of potato is around 14,000 quintals to meet the daily demand," said an administrative officer from APMC, Vashi.

The official added that West Bengal government has restricted supplies of potato to other states to curb price rise within the state.

Meanwhile, potato farmers in Gujarat are a happy lot this year, as they are getting better prices for their produce despite 15% increase in potato production.

"As compared to the price of Rs5-6 per kg in 2015, local farmers are currently fetching Rs10-12 per kg in the wholesale markets, thanks to lower production in other states," said a trader.
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