At first we only caught a whiff of it. But as we walked towards the tiny processing unit we were welcomed by that comforting and warm aroma that we’re all too familiar with. As we filed up on the short stairway, waiting for the doors to open, our minds conjured up images of what the scene would be like. And sure enough there they were: sliced, diced, mashed, and blanched — potatoes in different sizes and shapes. They each made their way to an industrial fryer, releasing a mouth-watering aroma that has earned this tuber a universal fan following. Hemant Gaur, an agri veteran who runs this potato processing plant in Chakan, is one such potato-lover. And this fondness for tuber combined with his 17-year experience led to the establishment of Siddhivinayak Agri Processing (SV Agri).
India sure loves its potatoes given that the country ranks second in the order of global production after China with an annual rate of 45 million tonne. But securing this cash crop from the farm to your local vegetable vendor or global snack producer, is a process fraught with loopholes. Produced mainly in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Gujara