Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to put forth broad contours of ‘opportunities’ for potato growers and its prospects for concerned stakeholders for the coming decade at the three-day 3rd Global Potato Conclave beginning in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.

The conclave, being organised by Indian Potato Association (IPA), comes at a time when there has been growing concern among the farmers and traders about the widening gap between the wholesale and retail prices of potato in the country, not to speak of the shrinking margin of profits for the producers of the root vegetable.

In India, second-largest grower of potatoes in the world, potato growers of the north have to contend with competition from potatoes from Bangladesh in the global export market. Further, the cost of transportation of the produce to nearest ports makes it financially unviable, putting further strain on their margins.

In Gujarat, by virtue of its geographical location and ability of farmers to tap clients in the global potato processing sector, the situation has been far better than the rest of the country.

According to a PMO note, “Prime minister is expected to take an overall view of the achievements and opportunities in the area of potato research, trade and industry and value chain management and set a roadmap for the decade.”

The PMO note highlighted the achievements of Gujarat in the field of potato. “With productivity of more than 30t/ha, Gujarat is holding the No. 1 position in India for last one decade. The State uses modern methods of agriculture like sprinklers and drip irrigation for cultivation,” the PMO note stated.

“In addition, most of the potato exporters are also based in Gujarat. This has led to the emergence of the state as a major potato hub in the country. In light of this, the 3rd Global Conclave is being held in Gujarat,” the PMO press release said.

Global Potato conclave is being held in India after eight years. More than 100 delegates from 14 countries would attend the event and discuss more than 60 varieties of potatoes grown across the world. About 7,000 farmers, traders, exporters, researchers and officials are likely to attend the conclave.