Potato (Agra)  

General Characteristics

Potato is the world's fourth important food crop after wheat, rice and maize owing to its great yield potential and high nutritive value and accounts for nearly half of the worlds annual output of all root and tuber crops. Thus, with an annual global production of about 300 million tonnes, potato is an economically important staple crop in both developed and developing countries.

 

Supply Demand Scenario

  • India is ranked 5th in potato production after China, Russian Federation, Poland and Ukraine. However, potato productivity in India is merely 16-19 tonnes/ha vis--vis that of European countries and USA, i.e 30-40 tonnes/ha.
  • The potatoes in India are cultivated under highly diversified agro-climatic conditions ranging from sea level to snowline and up to three crops are raised per year.
    Summer crop- March- April---------------------August-September
    Autumn crop- August-September---------------December- January
    Spring crop- January - February-------------- May-June
  • Potato is mainly rabi crop and is grown mainly in UP, Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.
  • During 2004-05, 24.15million ton potato was produced in the country while production figure for 2003-04 is 23.27 million ton. According to the ministry of agriculture advance estimate potato production during 2005-06 will be 24.65 million tons.
  • Average acreage under potato varies between 12 to 15 lakh hectares depending on the weather condition during sowing period.

 

Monthly Price Volatility

Monthly Variation in Potato Prices (Jan.2000-June 2004)

Volatility

< 5

5 - 10

10 - 15

> 15

No. of times

12.96

14.81

18.52

55.70

 

Major Trading Centres

There are four-potato export zone in India viz. in UP, Punjab, MP and West Bengal. The major potato markets in UP are Agra, Hathras, Kanpur, Meerut, Farrukkhabad; Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Phul and Patiala in Punjab; Ujjain, Indore and Dewas in MP and Hoogly, Burdwan and Howrah in West Bengal

 

Market Influencing Factors

  • Variations in potato domestic acreage based on yield and price realization
  • Crop development based on weather progress in key growing regions particularly cold wave and heavy rains during tuber formation
  • Comparative price with other vegetables in the domestic market,
  • Upcountry demand of potato from the major cities and food processing industries
  • The potato price tends to firm up during the planting period and eases down during the harvesting period.
  • Transportation charges have also profound impact on prices
  • Potato growers and traders hoard the commodity before selling in expectation of better prices. Potato can be kept in cold storages without spoilage for 5-6 months.