1. News

Potato Prices Set to Shoot up as Fertilizer Shortage & Untimely Rains Hit Production

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
Potato Prices Set to Shoot up

Potato prices, which have already begun to escalate, might skyrocket in the coming days as a result of a fertilizer scarcity, which has caused input costs to rise, and the recent rains, which have swamped potato fields and destroyed standing crops, leaving farmers facing significant losses.

When the rains arrived, over 55 percent of the potato sowing was finished.

Potato prices in the retail market have risen from Rs.16 per kg to Rs.20 per kg in only three days. With the worsening of the crisis, interest rates are projected to rise. Potato prices surpassed Rs.40 per kg last year, and there is widespread concern that they may climb further in 2022. Unexpected rain will also cause the potato farming cycle to be delayed by a few weeks.

"There is a shortage of MOP (Muriate of Potash) and DAP fertilisers" (diammonium phosphate). We had a meeting with the Centre. The Union Agriculture Minister has guaranteed us that we would have fertilizer supply by December 14," said Pradip Mazumdar, the Bengal government's agri advisor. He admitted that farmers were being compelled to pay double the MRP for every bag of fertilizer.

"Raids are being conducted by the Enforcement Department and district authorities to prevent hoarding." In fact, in some cases, we pushed traders to refund the extra money to customers," he said.

Bapi Ali, a farmer in Hooghly, needed 20 bags of fertilizer (each weighing 50kg) for potato planting on his two-and-a-half bigha land. However, he was only able to acquire three bags. Now, after sowing seeds in more than half of his property, he stands to lose heavily as his fields are inundated.

Farm leader and MLA Ramendu Singha Roy blamed the Centre squarely for the fertilizer shortfall and hike in potato prices, while conceding that farmers in Bengal had also acquired a proclivity to overuse fertilizers. "We need to lessen our reliance on fertilizers," he stated.

"Earlier, fertilizers used to be supplied through Iffco," said Raju Bhakat, a fertilizer dealer for Hooghly, Burdwan, and Bankura. The latter supplied fertilizers through agri cooperative banks, and after harvesting, the farmers repaid the fertilizer costs through these banks. However, several players are now supplying fertilizers, but the quantity remains insufficient."

Like this article?

Hey! I am Ayushi Raina. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters