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    Potato prices have almost doubled in most parts of India over the past one week. While most states are yet to take steps to check the spike in prices, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting on October 30 to review the situation.

    For Mamata Banerjee, it is a dilemma because farmers are gaining from a jump in prices. They are now getting 10 for a kg as compared to 4.50 per kg a fortnight ago. But rising prices are pinching the buyers who are paying almost 33% more for a kg now.

    The Jyoti variety is commanding a retail price of 16 per kg compared to 12 a kg a week ago. Bengal farmers are sending potatoes to the neighbouring states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha and Assam, where rains have damaged the crop.

    "A sudden demand from these states has pushed up prices. Moreover, rains have destroyed crops in south India too. But farmers have suffered huge losses for the entire year as what they earned was much below the cost of production,"said Patit Paban De, member, West Bengal Cold Storage Association.

    Rising potato price is not an isolated phenomenon in Bengal alone. Prices in Uttar Pradesh, the largest producer of the tuber, have more than doubled at the retail level. "Farmers are getting 16 per kg now from 8-9 per kg a week ago. In Agra market, consumers are buying potato at 25-30 per kg,"said Naveen Shukla, owner of Naveen Agri Farm. Untimely rains have delayed fresh sowing of the crop in the state by almost 25 days.

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