Price hike unwelcome during Navratri fasts

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DECREASED supplies of potatoes at the Azadpur fruits and vegetable market in recent months, along with an increased demand in the coming Navratri festive season, are expected to keep potato prices high in New Delhi for the immediate future.

Those consuming potatoes during fasts on Navratri days are likely to bear the brunt of the higher prices.

Prices are expected to fall after the new crop is harvested and starts arriving in markets from December onwards

For the last few days, wholesale prices of potatoes are hovering between Rs 12 and Rs 51 per kg in Azadpur mandi while it retails for between Rs 40 and 50 per kg in India's National Capital Region. Special quality potatoes are priced even higher.

In the hope of getting more prices, farmers have invested in potato cultivation despite inflation. Sowing of potatoes has started in north India.

According to Dr Manoj Kumar, Executive Director of Shimla's Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), during the Rabi season, the sowing of potatoes usually starts in late September and lasts till November. Harvesting of potatoes occurs between December and March.

However, traders said that the potato crop might start arriving in late November.

According to the second advance production data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, cultivation of potatoes in the country during 2019-20 was 513 lakh tonnes as against 501.9 lakh tonnes in 2018-19.

During the corona-induced lockdown, a decline in the consumption of vegetables was observed as hotels, restaurants, dhabas etc remained closed for four to five months.

Image by Tanuj Handa from Pixabay