The state ranked fourth in the production of potatoes after Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar with a share of 30%, 22% and 10%, respectively, in India’s total potato production.
Though Gujarat grows less than 10% of total potatoes produced in India, the state has a lion’s share of almost 27% in the overall potato exports from the country, said Swarup Kumar Chakrabarti, director of Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI).
During the 2018-19 season, total potato exports from Gujarat were nearly one lakh tonne (MT) against the country’s overall exports of 3.80 lakh MT of the root vegetable, Chakrabarti said while addressing a press conference on the upcoming 3-day long Global Potato Conclave 2020 to be held at Gandhinagar from January 28.
“Gujarat produced around 40 lakh MT potatoes in the last season against India’s 530 lakh MT which is hardly 8% of the total production. Due to the awareness of international market, farmers in Gujarat grows those varieties which are used in processing of potatoes. Hence, they are getting healthy rates of their produce compared to potato growers of other parts of the country,” said the director of Shimla-based CPRI.
The state ranked fourth in the production of potatoes after Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar with a share of 30%, 22% and 10%, respectively, in India’s total potato production. Chakrabarti pegs domestic demand of potatoes would be 122 MT by 2050. Demand for processing quality potatoes would increase from current level of 28 lakh MT to 250 lakh MT in 2050, he said, adding, “It implies that the demand is expected to increase by 6% Annual Compound Growth Rate (ACGR) up to 2050, where frozen potato products will have the highest ACGR (11.6%) followed by potato flakes/powder (7.6%) and potato chips (4.5%). On similar lines, the food demand for fresh potatoes will rise from the current 300 lakh MT to 780 MT by 2050 at an ACGR of 2.34 %. The demand for seed potato will grow nearly 2.1 time by the period, therefore, highly concerted efforts needs to be directed towards providing desirable quality seed potatoes to all farmers at remunerative prices.”
He said of the total potato produced in India, hardly 7% are currently going for processing. However, Gujarat scores higher at nearly 20% due to presence of large potato processing units like McCain and others. “In Europe and the US, almost 65 to 70% goes for processing,” Chakrabarti added. “Global Potato conclave is being held in India after eight years. Last time it was held at Delhi. Over 100 international delegates from 14 countries would attend the event and talk about more than 60 varieties of potato grown across the globe. Nearly 7,000 farmers, traders, exporters, researchers and officials will attend the event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the event through video conferencing,” he said.