Nearly 20% of potato crop have been destroyed in the district due to harsh weather conditions. Farmers are miffed as they may have to face losses in case the weather conditionsdo not improve in the next few days. This season, potatoes were sown in around one lakh hectare of land.
Agra is a major hub of potato production in the country. The district holds 10% of India’s cold storage capacity, and almost the entire capacity is used to store potatoes. There are around 240 cold storages in Agra region with a capacity to store more than 4.5 crore packets of potato of 50 kg each. Superior quality of potato is directly supplied to around 15 states of the country and to major vegetable markets of Delhi and Mumbai.
“This season, the weather conditions in November and December were suitable for potato cultivation. During that time, soil had the right amount of moisture for the development of crops. After a long time farmers were expecting bumper potato production. But sudden change in weather has been a serious setback. Around 20% of crop has withered due to wind, dew and fog. If such conditions prevail in the next few days, we fear that the size of the potatoes will remain small, and reduce the net production,” said Bharatiya Kisan Union district head Shyam Singh Chahar, adding that maximum losses have taken place in Etmadpur, Fatehabad, Khandauli, Shamshabad, Bah and Kiraoli blocks.
Deputy director of agriculture Gaurav Yadav said, “We are assessing crop loss due to harsh weather condition. The meteorological parameters are not suitable for potato crop. But farmers can save their crop by ensuring suitable irrigation and spray of potash. Apart from adverse weather condition since last week, the temperature this year has been better as compared to past years. High production is expected to take place this year.”
Meanwhile, the city remained under the grip of cold on Tuesday. Met officials said that fog is expected from Wednesday onwards, but the temperature will remain slightly above normal for the next three days.
Source – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com