Agricultural dept extends subsidy for exporting potatoes to other states
Kolkata: The state Agricultural Marketing Department has decided to continue the transportation subsidy for exporting potatoes to other states for another fifteen days. The deadline for keeping the doors open for cold storages in the state expires on Sunday with nearly 6.5 lakh tonnes of potatoes remaining in storage.
"We have decided to extend the transportation subsidy for fifteen more days to ensure that more potatoes can be exported to other states. The subsidy will be 50paise per quintal for export on road and Re 1 for rail or flight," a senior official of the department said.
State Agriculture Marketing minister Tapan Dasgupta chaired a meeting with the West Bengal Cold Storage Association on Friday and made it clear that all storages should be emptied by Sunday.
It may be mentioned that the farmers who failed to sell their produce for lack of proper price had requested for another extension of the deadline, but the state government has refused to do so this time. "The subsidy will help the farmers to export the remaining stuff," an official of the department said.
The state government has reasoned that cold storages go for annual maintenance before new crop arrives. "The harvest season has already begun and it is a matter of time before fresh stock arrives at the storage so we have not extended the deadline for keeping the clod storages open," the official said.
It may be mentioned that the deadline for keeping the cold storages open was till November 30. But the deadline was extended because of the bumper produce.
However, it may be mentioned that though the government has not officially extended the date it has been decided that some storage owners who still have huge stock can take some more time to empty their storage in close co ordination with the department.
The storages that are not left with huge stocks, have been asked to bring out the potatoes and keep them in shades beside the cold storages.
As the temperature is on the lower side, even after they are brought out of the cold storage, the potatoes can remain fresh for at least another ten days.
It may be mentioned that in the last season, of the total 90 lakh tonnes annual potato produce, 69 lakh tonnes had been stored in 400-odd cold storages across the state.