Continuing its push to promote healthier variants of potatoes, FMCG major ITC is set to begin trial cultivation of red potatoes at Chandrala village of Gandhinagar district in Gujarat. Red potatoes are a variety recently launched by the company, that are high on anthocyanin, which gives it antioxidant properties.
Sachid Madan, chief executive, Technico Agri Sciences Limited, an ITC Group:
“Red potatoes don’t just have red skin but are red on the inside as well. This variant has all the beneﬁts of a potatoes and additionally has anthocyanin. This variety can be used as a table variant as well as a processing variety and has a huge potential for exports.”
In the ﬁrst phase, the company will work with a handful of farmers and later scale up.
Besides red potatoes, ITC has also launched purple potatoes, that currently in trial cultivation in northern India.
Sachid Madan, chief executive, Technico Agri Sciences Limited, an ITC Group
“We plan to scale up cultivation of both red and purple potatoes to 75-80 tonnes this year. Next year, it will be scaled up to 300 tonnes.”
The company procured red potatoes from the US while the purple variant is procured from New Zealand, through the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI). Currently, both variants are being cultivated in Uttar Pradesh on trial basis.
Red and purple potatoes are currently available in India at specialty gourmet stores for about Rs 1,000-1,500 per kg; and are consumed at ﬁve-star hotels and upmarket restaurants, primarily in salads.
“We will be able to retail this product for much less than its current price. In the long run, cultivation of these variants of potatoes will have huge export potential given their characteristics and health beneﬁts. They will yield high prices for farmers in Gujarat.”
Two years ago, ITC had launched four variants of healthy potatoes including natural low-sugar potatoes.