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India: Farmers in Northern Bengal in crisis as potato prices plunge by 50%

With prices of potatoes plunging by 50 per cent, potato farmers in northern regions of West Bengal are faced with an acute crisis since the beginning of this year.

Last year, the farmers say they sold potatoes for Rs 8-Rs 9 per kg, which is exactly the double amount of money they received this year i.e., Rs 4.50 to Rs 5 for one kg.

Akhbar Miya, a potato farmer here says, “I have 6.5 bighas of land where I have already spent rupees 1.2 lakhs but in return I have received only Rs 55,000. From the next season onward, I have to think whether to continue potato farming or not.”

Currently potatoes are available on the market at Rs 15 per kilogram.

It has also been observed that farmers who sow cold storage seeds have incurred more losses compared to certified seed. Jaganath, another farmer says, “One cannot run a family depending on agriculture alone. We need to have another source of income for earning a livelihood.”

Source: The Hans India