Punjab potato growers to export crop to Russia

Chandigarh, Feb 6 (PTI) A clutch of Punjab-based potatofarmers are in final stages of signing a historic deal withRussian traders for exporting close to 10,000 tonnes of thecrop to Russia for the first time ever.

"We are likely to finalise the deal within a day ortwo with Russian traders who have approached us for supply ofpotato crop to Russia," a progressive potato grower fromJalandhar district, who has been approached for the supply ofcrop, told PTI on condition of anonymity.

About 10 potato growers from Punjab, who have beenapproached by the Russian traders, are reluctant to beidentified and have also refused to name Russian traders.

"We do not want to disclose the details (of Russiantraders) with whom the discussion are going on till the dealis finalised...otherwise some other potato suppliers (fromPunjab) may move in, which may endanger our deal," he said.

About two Russian traders have approached the potatogrowers of Punjab for the supply of potato crop in the wake ofmassive shortage of the tuber in Russia because of low yield,caused by extreme temperature.

"Their (Russian traders) requirement is about one lakhtonnes of import of potato from Punjab..but we could not meetthis huge requirement..we could supply only 10,000 tonnes ofcrop and they will have to source crop from the open market,"he said.

What led Russian traders to source potato from Punjabwas the prevalence of low rate of crop and its sufficientavailability in view of ongoing harvesting in the state. MOREPTI CHS

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