Potato touches Rs 40 per kg in retail - Why are prices soaring?

Now, the retail price of potato in Mumbai and suburbs have reached Rs 40 to Rs 45 per kg, depending upon the quality. If we believe in traders at the wholesale market in Vashi, there is no respite in price in days to come. The price will come down only after fresh the crops hit the market in November.

The Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) in Vashi is receiving hardly 25% supply of total supply of potatoes for the last month, and due to the rainy season, most of them are wet and it cannot be stored for a long time.

Ashok Walunj, director of Onion-Potato market in Vashi said that there is a one-fourth supply of potatoes. “Normally, the market used to get around 80 trucks laden with potato which has come down to just 20 to 22 trucks,” said Walunj. He added that there is a very low possibility of price coming down in a month as crops were damaged last year due to excessive rainfalls and supply has also affected due to pandemic.

At present, the wholesale price of potatoes is Rs 24 per kg. “A retailer cannot sell below Rs 40 per kg. Since potato is perishable once it is out from the cold storage, retailers have to bear the cost if perishes due to delay in sale,” said Walunj.

According to Walunj, there is no export of potatoes at the moment. “We cannot even blame export for price. We have to accept that there was low yield and price will come down only after new crops arrive in the market,” said Walunj.

Mumbai receives most of the supplies from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, and a little from Gujarat. “Uttar Pradesh is one of the major potatoes growing states in India. However, the stock on cold storage there is less than last year,” said a potato trader from the APMC Vashi. He added that currently, Mumbai is getting most of the supplies from Gujarat.

“Potato from Uttar Pradesh is always the first choice because of its quality. Since there is very little or no supply, we have to depend upon Gujarat to meet the demand,” said the trader.

According to traders, this year, the prices had begun rising in February, however, its heat is being felt now. “Every year, during monsoon, there is a rise in the price of all vegetables including potatoes. This year, this is little more due to poor yield,” added the trader.

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