Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 12:
Denying that the state potato mission has failed, state agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy has said that the tuber farming in Odisha is on track.
Recently, food supplies and consumer welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma had said that the unfavourable weather conditions in the state has led to a 30 per cent decrease in the tuber production.
Maharathy, on Friday told media that the potato mission is running on track and there will not be much fall in production this year.
“Last year the potato farming was done in an area of 15,000 hectares. This year too potato has been harvested in 25,000 hectares. Due to bad weather the crop will be marginally affected”, he added.
He also advised farmers to sell their potatoes directly in the market. This will fetch a good profit for them and also reduce the prices.
A supply department official has said that there is going to be no relief in potato prices in next two months as out of the 11 lakh metric tonne requirement in the state, only 2 lakh 60 thousand metric tonnes of potatoes are produced in the state.
The state is, therefore, dependent on the Centre for the export of potatoes. But what is worrying is that there is a shortfall of potato crops in other parts of the country.
The state government had four days ago directed all the district collectors to enforce Essential Commodities Act to curb hoarding and restrict price rise of potatoes.