The cultivation of seed potato grown in the cold deserts of the Lahaul valley, was losing its charm but its returns has doubled this season comparatively to previous years, says agriculture experts.
The rates have also been profitable now as a large quantity of potatoes, meant for cultivating fresh crops are headed to northern India for consumption.
J.C. Rana, agriculture director, said that the table potato is sold at Rs. 20 to Rs. 22 per kg in the wholesale markets which was sold at Rs. 8 to Rs. 10 kg last year.
“The demand from Gujarat, West Bengal and Uttarakhand for cultivation was good. Now only 25 to 30 percent of the crop is left,” Amar Chand Dogra, managing director of the Lahaul Seed Potato Growers Cooperative Marketing said.
District agriculture officer V.K. Chaudhary informed that the valley has produced 7,815 tonnes of potatoes this year which was 10,500 tonnes last year.
He added, though the potato crop was bumper this year, there was a decline in its cultivation as the farmers had switched over to cultivation of off-season vegetables like peas, turnip, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
As per state agriculture department estimates, there has been a 20 percent decline in the area under potato cultivation in Lahaul valley compared to last year.
Mr. Dogra said the group, with 2,100 members, has procured 32,000 bags of 50 kg each of Kufri Jyoti and 8,000 bags of Kufri Chandramukhi.
The marketing society is selling a quintal of Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Chandramukhi from Rs.3,000 to Rs.3,300.
need some seeds
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