Eat More Potatoes, Says Mamata

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Tarakeswar: West Bengal government Friday announced that it will procure 10 lakh tonne of potato from farmers at the rate of Rs 5.5 per kg to prevent distress sale of the crop.

At a public rally in Tarkeswar in Hooghly district Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the state government would spend Rs 550 crore to procure potato of 20 lakh potato farmers in the state.

The state government will offer Rs 5.5 a kg during the procurement at the time when loading price at farm level had slipped below Rs 4 a kg. “Break even price will be Rs 5 and so the government had decided to offer Rs 5.5 a kg which is decent support and avert a possible crisis,” West Bengal Cold Storage Association advisor Patit Paban De said.

This year saw a bumper crop of at least 120 lakh tonne which is 20 per cent higher than previous year production of 100 lakh tonne in the last year. Potato is mostly grown in Hooghly, Burdwan, Bankura, West Midnapur, part of Howarh and a few North Bengal districts

In the recent past, both state and Centre announced direct cash benefit to farmers along with other benefits like higher minimum support price for crops.