Despite heavy rain in Jan, Punjab records highest-ever potato yield – The Indian Express

Despite heavy rains damaging potato crops in January this year, Punjab has recorded the highest ever potato production in the state to date.
The state has recorded 30.30 lakh tonnes of potato production, around 81,000 tonnes more than the last year. According to the Punjab horticulture department, potato production in 2020 was 28.70 Lakh Tonnes (LT) which increased to 29.49 LT in 2021. The area of land on which potatoes were grown also increased from 1.06 lakh hectares in 2020 to 1.07 lakh hectares in 2021 and 1.10 lakh hectares this year.
Prior to this, Punjab’s yearly potato production between 2004-05 and 2015-16 remained between 14.70 LT and 23.85 LT while the area used for the crop increased from 72,000 hectares in 2004-05 to 92,000 hectares in 2015-16.
Going by these details, the area under crop has increased 1.5 times in the state since 2004-05 and has seen a two-fold increase in production.
The per hectare production has also increased in the state from 20 tonnes per hectare in 2004-05 to 27.6 tonnes per hectare this year.
As for the rate of potatoes this year, the table potato fares between Rs 800 to 1000 per quintal and between Rs 1200 to 1800 for seed potato per quintal.
Sources at the Jalandhar Horticulture department revealed that several farmers reported damage to their crops during this season due to heavy rains but they managed to bring it under control by draining out the excess water from the fields.
“A damage of around 1.80 lakh tonnes of the crop was reported from the state,” said a source in the Jalandhar office, adding that if the damage would not have occurred then the production could have touched over 32 lakh tonnes in the state this year.
While many farmers are happy with the yield and market prices this year, those in some places have suffered losses of up to 50 per cent due to the damaged crop could not get the full benefit of the good prevailing price of the crop because they they have less crop to sell in the market because of the damange.
In Punjab, Kufri Jyoti, Pukhraj, and sugar-free potato varieties are quite popular. Nearly 18 lakh tonnes is seed potato out of which 4-lakh tonnes will be used in the state while the remaining 14 lakh tonnes will be supplied to other potato-growing states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, etc.
Punjab’s potato production share used to be just five per cent of India’s total production, which is nearly 50 million tonnes, but now this share may increase up to six per cent, given the total production in the country remains the same.
Director Horticulture Shailender Kaur IFS Punjab said that Punjab’s potato production has been increasing every year and it is the only state to meet the demand for seed potato across all the potato growing states of the country. This is because, she said, its Doaba region — Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts — are the best regions in the country to grow seed potato.
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