Senior Congress leader and Kapurthala MLA Rana Gurjit Singh on Saturday opposed the Centre's proposal to import potato saying it would destroy the already strained potato farming in the country, especially in Punjab.
In a statement issued here, Rana said thousands of potato-growers in Doaba had to destroy their produce every year for lack of better prices and storage facilities. He said it was wrong on part of the Centre to start potato imports now as the actual consignments would take another month for delivery and would coincide almost with the timing when fresh crops would start arriving.
He said that, in any case, the new domestic crop would start arriving in January. He observed that the prices had, by and large, stabilised and there was no point in deciding to import potatoes now.
Instead, Rana, who represents a potato-growing area in Punjab, suggested that the government should facilitate the storage arrangements so that the farmers were able to store their crop and release it at a time when there was a proper demand in the market.
Otherwise, he said, the potato-growers did not get the adequate price, not enough even to meet the transportation costs up to the mandis, and as a result, in distress they destroyed the crops on the roads of Jalandhar city almost every year.