The common person has no option but deal with this hot potato.
The king of vegetables is selling at Rs 20/kg from cold storage and Rs 24-30/kg for fresh ones.
The festive season is not the only reason for the manifold price rise. Shortage of fresh supply, high pricing of the cold storage supply and arbitrary profit by retailers are other factors.
“The rate of Amibikapur (Chattisgarh) potato sold at Rs 19/kg, sugar-free at Rs 16/kg and satha (storage) at Rs 14/kg. The retailer then adds cartage, labour and profit, so they sell at a high price,” said Mohd Atiq, a wholesaler at Dubaggha market.
He expects the high prices to stay till October-end.
In the retail market, the storage potato was selling at Rs 20/kg, sugar free at Rs 22.50/kg and fresh (new) supply ranging from Rs 24-Rs 30/kg.
“I was expecting the prices of potato to come down after Navratri but they haven’t. Strangely, other vegetables are more affordable but you can’t do without potatoes,” said Meenakshi Kant, an office employee in Gomti Nagar.
Fresh supply is likely to start from Kannauj, Farakkhabad and Punjab in October-end, which will bring the prices down.
“The rain in September spoilt the crop in most of the region. Potatoes in these regions have been sowed again and the fresh crop arrives after a 60-day cycle. only then will the prices fall,” Atiq said.
All-India Cold Storage Association president Mahendra Swaroop said: “This is an unprecedented year. I have never seen such high pricing. It used to be Rs 300-400 a quintal but we saw price of Rs 1,600 that has now reduced to Rs 1200-1300. It will remain in this range for another month.”
Swaroop said the price of vegetables can’t be controlled as it’s a perishable commodity.