Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 17:
In a major setback to farmers, Odisha government has decided not to procure surplus potatoes from the farmers this year under its Potato Mission.
In view of the decline of potato prices and huge production this year, the department has rolled back its decision on making buffer stock.
According to statistics by Odisha Horticulture department, a huge surplus of potatoes around 9587 metric tonne are with farmers this year. The report has been submitted to Agriculture secretary on Feb 14 recommending the government to procure the surplus potatoes.
However, the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department has rejected the proposal.
The potato production has been increased in Odisha, Uttar Pardesh and West Bengal this year. While 2.78 MT potatoes were produced in Odisha last year, the horticulture department estimated that the quantity will be increased to 3.02 lakh MT this year. Similarly, the potato prices considerably declined in the state, official sources in the Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Department said.
However, farmers will be affected with the decision. The Potato mission, which was launched with an aim to procure potatoes from farmers at appropriate prices, to control the inflation and to prevent the hoarding, appears to be failure one.
Notably, the potato has been cultivated in 1557.50 hectare in Odisha under incentive programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY). Apart from the programme, the potato has been produced in 23627.50 hectare more in the State. If each hectare will yield 12 MT potatoes, the total quantity will be around 3.02 lakh MT in Odisha, the horticulture department estimated.