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State allows cold storage to procure 10L MT potatoes at Rs 6/kg

Kolkata: In a year likely to see a bumper harvest, the state government saves lakhs of potato cultivators in the state from facing distress sale by allowing each cold storage to procure 10 lakh MT potatoes at Rs 6 per kg.

Though the harvest is ongoing at present, as per estimates, around 120 to 130 lakh MT potatoes will be produced this year.

But at the initial stage of this season, farmers were getting below Rs 4 for a kg of potato. As a result, they were incurring huge losses. But not letting the situation to turn worse, the state government allowed procurement at Rs 6 per kg.

Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay along with Chief Minister's advisor on Agriculture Pradip Majumdar and Secretary of Agriculture Marketing department Rajesh Sinha held a Press conference at Nabanna on February 22 in this regard. It came as a boon for farmers as they did not bow down before "corrupt traders" who were aiming to procure huge quantities of potatoes at a minimum price for hoarding the yield.

Now, the farmers are getting something between Rs 6.50 to Rs 7 per kg.

When contacted, Majumdar said: "The state government always took proactive steps and intervened to help farmers in such a situation. It helps in two ways. First of all, farmers get the right price for their produce and intervention of traders with wrong intention is also checked."

The state has an annual requirement of 65 lakh MT potatoes. In 2018, the state had a production of around 85 lakh MT while in 2019 it went up to 110 lakh MT.

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