Depts play blame game on potato price rise

Bhubaneswar: Even as consumers are witnessing a gradual price rise in potato over past few days, concerned departments of the State government have begun blaming each other for the same.

As per retail market sources, potato price has jumped from Rs 12 a kg to Rs 16. A further rise in the price cannot be ruled out in the wake of rise of wholesale price of the tuber at the source point, West Bengal.

When asked about the sky-rocketing of the price of tuber, Food and Civil Supplies minster Sanjay Dasburma reasoned that it was due to fall in production.

“Report says we have 30% less potato production this year leading to price rise,” Dasburma said.

But the Agriculture department is not ready to buy the reason.

“This year we have achieved the target in case of potato cultivation. There is no issue with storage as well,” Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy said.

Sources said, in the last rabi marketing season a bumper crop was recorded but to lack of storage space they had to sell it at distress prices. Interestingly, the Cooperative department has said that the Supply department must look into the storage facility of the tuber.

“If the entrepreneurs or farmers have failed to utilize the subsidy amount to set up cold storages, the concerned department which issued loan in this regard must take action against them,” Cooperative minister Damodar Rout said.

Reacting on the State government’s potato mission, the minister commented that the Supply department must look into it.