Potatoes disappear from Odisha mandis

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: Potatoes, the quintessential vegetable, on Friday vanished from the markets of Odisha with retailers selling the tuber at exorbitant prices.
Though the state government supplied a limited quantity of potatoes at Rs 22 a kg in 169 faire price shops, the stock was exhausted in minutes, sources said, adding each individual was provided two kg potato from these outlets.
In addition, five 'Maytree' and 'Udyan Fresh' outlets also supplied cheap potatoes, an official said.
In the main vegetable market in Capital Haat, potato was sold at Rs 35 to Rs 40 per kg while whole-sellers sold the vegetable at Rs 30 a kg.
In Cuttack, even as the district administration tried to sell potatoes at faire price shops at a reasonable price of Rs 20 a kg, the 32 shops run by the civil supply department were not enough to meet the demand. Potatoes were also not available with any vendor on the day in the city's biggest vegetable market at Chhatrabazar.
"If potatoes have vanished from the market, other available vegetables are impossible to lay hands on for unheard of price. Prices of every vegetable were above Rs 50 a kg," said a government employee in dismay.
The faire price shops run by the district civil supply department, however, made an attempt to sell potatoes at Rs 20 a kg. But, soon the 32 shops had to down their shutters as their stocks exhausted in no time.