Potato is India’s largely grown and most liked tuber. For the benefit of farmers who usually take to distress sales, potato trading will go online in West Bengal.//
According to state agriculture minister, Naren De, the Multi Commodity Exchange of India Limited (MCX), an independent multi-commodity exchange recognised by the central government for facilitating online trading, will conduct the online sales of potatoes. It is to begin from Sept. 1.
The potatoes would be sold under the brand name Tarakeswar Alu though the crop would be procured from Hooghly (where Tarakeshwar is located) as well as Burdwan, Howrah and other districts.
The Tarakeshwar brand potato would actually be the popular Kufri Jyoti variety grown in West Bengal.
According to De, online trading might bring parity in prices across the country and benefit both the farmer and the trader. Since the market is regulated by stockists and traders, farmers often get poor prices as they sell the crop from the field itself irrespective of demand. The minister said about eight million tonnes of potatoes are grown in West Bengal.
According to a study by MCX, there is scope for a turnover of Rs.45 billion in potato trade annually. As the Kufri Jyoti variety is produced in abundance, it was chosen for online sale.Another popular variety - Chandramukhi - has not found place online because of inadequate production.
Satellite technology would enable the online facility to reach every village market.
Trading would continue from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
MCX is appointing brokers area wise for the online trade. A buyer has to purchase at least 30 tonnes to be eligible for online trading. A buyer would be able to store the potatoes in the cold storages registered by the government and take delivery as and when required.
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