Farmers advised to go for sowing potato

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Coimbatore, Feb 15 (PTI) Farmers are recommended to go forsowing potato in neerbogum (in February under irrigationconditions) since the crop would get better prices andparticularly that of Nilgiris district, would fetch a premiumprice for its better quality, according to Tamil NaduAgricultural University (TNAU).

The Domestic Export and Marketing Intelligence Cell(DEMIC) in TNAU has analysed the price behaviour of potatothat prevailed in Nilgiris Cooperative Marketing Society innearby Mettupalayam for the last 20 years and found thatfarmers would get a price of Rs 14 to Rs 16 per kg of in Mayand June, when the neegbogum potato for harvesting, it said ina release here.

The society is one of the major trading centres in India,with 100 private commission mandies functioning in and around.

The peak arrivals of potato is during June to December andin Nilgiris neerbogum potato is sown uring February, it said.

In Tamil Nadu, potato is grown in the hilly regions ofDindigul, Nilgiris and Krishnagiri and Erode districts, withDindigul and Nilgiris contributing 95 per cent.

In 2010-11, potato productioin in the state was expected tobe 97,20 tonnes fror an area of 4,600 hectares, with anaverage production of 21.13 tonnes per hectare,it said.

The major problem faced by the Nilgiri farmers were thehighest cultivation cost, labour shortage and higher arrivalsfrom other states at competitive prices.

Traders are sourcing potato from Agra and Hasanpur in UttarPradesh, Indore in Madhya pradesh and Kolar in Karnataka forconsumers of Tamil Nadu. They also export fresh potato to SriLanka, UAE, Singapore, Nepal and Kuwait, Demic said.

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