India: Government plans big, but cash worry hits potato farming

Potato acreage in Bengal for early varieties has taken a hit due to the liquidity crunch just when the Mamata Banerjee government had planned to increase it by another 4,500 hectares this year. “I don’t think we will be able to reach the target,” said Pradip Mazumdar, advisor to the CM on agriculture. The sluggish acreage is going to affect production of the early variety (jaldi aloo) that usually reaches the market by mid-November. But this was not expected when Bengal farmers, the second biggest potato producing state after Uttar Pradesh, had made huge profits in the last season. “The November chill is ideal for potato farming. But where is the money?” said potato grower Kinkar Das from Tarakeswar. More