New Delhi, Oct 16 :
To curb potato prices that are soaring in the ongoing festival season, the government has decided to boost availability of the staple item for the first time through imports.
“We are taking all possible measures to control price rise in potato,” Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh told reporters here Thursday, adding that the ministry is arranging to soon float tenders for the purpose so that shipments can arrive by next month.
Potato prices have been on an upward trend in recent months across the country, except in the southern states.
Retail prices in Delhi, for instance, currently range between Rs.35-40 per kg.
The government had, in June, imposed a minimum export price of $450 per tonne on potatoes to raise domestic availability and check prices heading northwards.
The move now to import is aimed at tiding over shortages till the fresh crop arrives end-January from Uttar Pradesh, which accounts for close to half of the country’s entire potato production.