Potato processing in India: Today and Tomorrow

India is on its way to have a ‘crispy revolution’ due to emerging growth and rapid progress in potato processing sector. Growing urbanization and changing food habit have made the potatoes leave the tables and take the refuge in packets or pouches at everybody's pleasure across the generation gap.

Value-added processed products are opening up newer market avenues in international agricultural trade, and as a result, the farmers are finding it highly remunerative to grow potatoes even in areas traditionally indifferent to potato cultivation. The multinationals operating in India are now increasingly opting for indigenous processing varieties, which are fast replacing the exotic American and European varieties.

Presently, the global potato export stands at 13.27 million tonnes per year amounting to about US$ 4.75 billion, and in this international export market processed potatoes comprise 4.12 million tonnes per year with an annual turn over of US$ 2.90 billion. To be competitive in global potato trade, which still continues to be a European affair, the country needs to accelerate the development and diffusion of suitable quality-enhancing technologies in the processing sector. However, institutional innovations must accompany the technological progress for attaining a leading role in international (potato) processing trade.

Potato processing proves to be an important option for India's becoming self-reliant in sustaining the food and nutrition. These are the issues discussed in the present article with reference to India's present position and future prospect for strengthening the potato processing capacity.

Published: 11 Aug 2006

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Potato Journal