Potato Processing: Vital to Agribusiness in Gujarat
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), popularly known as ‘the king of vegetables’ is an exotic plant with its centre of origin in high Andes (around Lake Titikaka near Peru and Bolivia border) in South America. It is believed that the Spanish brought it to Europe in early 16th century just to satisfy botanical curiosity and afterwards it attained the status of a food crop in the entire continent. In India, potato was introduced by the Portuguese in the 17th century. In the beginning it was cultivated just as a kitchen garden crop in some western and north-western parts of India. By the early 20th century potato was a cash crop in several parts of the country. Over the years, potato processing has become vital to agribusiness. Gujarat is one of the leading potato producing states in the country. A large number of potato processing units are located in Gujarat which not only provides a ready market for potato grown here but also provide employment to a large number of people and contribute to state GDP.
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