Food giant turns saviour for state potato farmers

 

ARAMBAG (Hooghly) TOI:

While a number of potato growers are facing huge loss, a section of Bengal farmers is set to make money from potato cultivation. They had a collaborative farming arrangement with multinational food giant PepsiCo.

The potato price is coming down almost everyday. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has called a meeting on Monday to take stock of the situation. Moreover, a number of potato investors could not purchase potato following demonetisation. PepsiCo officials led by Jaideep Bhatia, director agro division, on Friday met potato farmers who cultivated special process grade potato with lower water content.
The field potato price on Friday hovered around Rs 2 to Rs 3 per kg. The PepsiCo farmers received Rs 7.50 to Rs 8.40 per kg. Chandi Charan Mondal of Anandapur village said: “The company offered assured price. They purchased potatoes at Rs 400 to Rs 420 per 50 kg packet.”

 

According to Bhatia, PepsiCo will procure 70,000 tonne of potato from farmers at the agreed price set one month before plantation. Bengal produces around 10 lakh tonne potato every year. Unlike some other states, in Bengal, PepsiCo is entering into a pact with an aggregator for supply of potato, whom the company is calling an opinion leader. The aggregator is roping in farmers for potato cultivation.

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