Household budgets go for a toss as potato price soars in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The consumers these days are experiencing a tough time in lieu of the soaring prices of some vegetables that fit to every dish. The price of potato has soared in Odisha in the last few days while it is being sold at a price of Rs. 25 to Rs. 28 per kg in the retail market.

The reason behind rise of potato price is said to be the increase in fuel price. Odisha reportedly imports potato from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. As per reports, the transportation cost was earlier Rs. 90 which has risen to Rs 150 now. It is believed that the food supply chain has also been broken due to the Ukraine-Russia war. Also, bad weather has contributed much towards reduced potato production. And the consumers are facing the music.

Following introduction of Odisha Government’s ‘Potato Mission’, the potato farming had grown considerable in the State. However, the production did not increased accordingly. And hence it has become difficult to fulfil the demand for potato.

To meet the demand for Potato the Govt had introduced Potato mission in 2015-16. Then, while 3.2 metric ton potato was being produced in 15805 hectares, in 2020-21 financial year 3.09 lakh metric ton potato was produced. In the state the demand is about 4 thousand ton potatoes per day.

Accordingly, about 14 lakh 20 thousand ton potato is needed in a year in the state. In the state while 80 thousand ton potato is being harvested, about 70 to 80 thousand ton potatoes are being imported from the neighbouring States. As of now, in the state, as per govt and  private record, there are 148 cold storages while only 77 of them are working. There only 50,000 ton potato can be hoarded while 4 thousand ton potato is required per day.

Now price of potato is Rs 25 to 28 in Bhubaneswar. In the wholesale market the price of potato is Rs 22 to 23, however, some of the traders are doing monopoly which has hampered domestic budget of others.

Yet, not only potato, but these days the soaring price of tomato, lemon and edible oil have also soared apart from potato price for which the consumers are worried.

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