Along with other states in India, potatoes play an important role in Uttar Pradesh’s cuisine. Be it mixed with vegetables or meat, or served as chips or fries, potatoes are an essential part of every plate and for the poor, it can mean the difference between having a meal and going hungry. Luckily, Uttar Pradesh is set to break records this year with a bumper crop of potatoes, which will not only benefit the state’s farmers but also consumers in Nepal and the United Arab Emirates.
Record production of potatoes in Uttar Pradesh to benefit farmers and consumers a like
UP Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi is ecstatic about the prospect of such a high yield and expects farmers to get a fair price for their produce. According to Uttar Pradesh Horticulture Department Director RK Tomar, the state is expected to produce 170 lakh metric tonnes of potatoes, benefiting over six lakh potato farmers in UP. These potatoes can be sold to other states across India, as well as Nepal and the UAE, generating decent prices for the farmers.
80 Percent of the Potato Sowing Target Achieved in Uttar Pradesh
The target area for potato sowing in Uttar Pradesh this year is 627,246 hectares, which is projected to produce 176,699,376 metric tonnes of potatoes. So far, farmers in the state have met 80 percent of the target area, and the remaining land will soon be covered. Farmers in regions such as Agra, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Aligarh, Bareilly, and Badayun have almost reached their sowing target, with those in Kheri mandal already having completed their target. Even with interruptions in sowing time due to rain and market prices, the state is still expected to have a record-breaking crop of potatoes, benefiting farmers and consumers alike. This is because potato production is anticipated to be one-and-a-half times higher than potato consumption in the state.
Potatoes from Uttar Pradesh sent to Nepal and UAE
According to Director RK Tomar, domestic potato consumption in Uttar Pradesh is around 90-95 lakh tonnes, with an additional two million tonnes set aside for seed harvesting. This leaves the state with 110-115 tonnes of potatoes, with the remaining 40 lakh tonnes being distributed to locations such as Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Mumbai and Guwahati for sale. Last year, almost 90,000 quintals of potatoes, worth over 96.29 crore rupees, were shipped to Nepal with similar exports made to the UAE. People in both countries appreciated the quality of potatoes from Uttar Pradesh, so they will be exported again. There is even a new potato processing project being set up in Bijnore in partnership with a Belgian firm, which will produce frozen French fries, potato chips, and other specialty potato products.
The State Agriculture Minister Surya Kumar Shahi states that potato picking from the field will start in February, and only then will the total amount of potatoes sent to Nepal and other countries be determined. Nevertheless, this record-breaking crop production in Uttar Pradesh is a good sign for the state’s potato farmers and consumers, potentially filling their pockets and stomachs, respectively.