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 Buscador de Noticias
Asia 16/03/2023

India: Despite highest-ever potato production, Punjab farmers earn less than half of last year’s price

Among all the districts, Jalandhar has produced nearly 7 lakh tonne potato, which is the highest in the state followed by Ludhiana, which recorded nearly 5 lakh tonne production.

Punjab this season has recorded the highest ever potato production in the state at 31.56 lakh tonne, around 1.05 lakh tonne more than last year. While there was not much increase in the area of cultivation, the production is seeing a steady increase each year.

Among all the districts, Jalandhar has produced nearly 7 lakh tonne potato, which is the highest in the state followed by Ludhiana, which recorded nearly 5 lakh tonne production.

Experts said that the availability of better quality seeds is resulting in the increase in the per hectare production.

According to the Punjab Horticulture department, there was 30.5 lakh tonne production of potato last year and 29.49 lakh tonne in 2021 while the area under production was around 1.07 lakh hectare. In 2020, 28.7 lakh tonne potato was produced on 1.06 lakh hectare land.

Officials added that last year was the first time when potato production touched the 3-million tonne mark in the state.

In 2019, 2018 and 2017, Punjab recorded 27.24 lakh tonne, 25.71 lakh tonne and 25.24 lakh tonne potato production, respectively, while the area under the crop in these years increased from 97,000 hectare in 2017 to 1.03 lakh hectare in 2019.

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Prior to this, from 2004-05 to 2015-16, Punjab’s potato production was between 14.7 lakh tonne and 23.85 lakh tonne and in the same period, the area under the crop increased from 72,000 hectare in 2004-05 to 92,000 hectare in 2015-16.

Going by these details, the area under crop has increased by 58 per cent in the state since 2004-05 while the production has increased by 114.6 per cent.

Also, the per hectare potato production has increased in the state from 20 tonne per hectare in 2004-05 to 27.68 tonne per hectare this season.

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However, despite the highest ever crop, farmers are getting very low prices of the crop with the rate hovering between Rs 450 to Rs 500 per quintal against around Rs 1,200 to 1,800 per quintal last year depending on the variety of potatoes.

Director of the Horticulture department Shailender Kaur said Punjab is the only state which has been meeting the demand of seed potatoes across the country and the Doaba region — Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts — is the best region in the country to grow seed potatoes.

Kaur said, “Punjab’s 61 per cent potatoes are seed potatoes which are kept in the cold storage facilities for supply as per demand of seeds from various states.” Punjab has 630 cold storage facilities with a total capacity to store around 23.5 lakh tonne potato.

In Punjab, Kufri Jyoti, Pukhraj and sugar-free potato varieties are quite popular. The state supplies seed potatoes to West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and others.

Fuente: https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chandigarh/despite-highest-ever-potato-production-punjab-farmers-earn-less-half-last-years-price-8490667/


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