RANGPUR, Nov 24, 2018 (BSS) – The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has fixed a target of producing 34.48 lakh tonnes of potato from 1.64-lakh hectares of land in Rangpur division during this Rabi season.
Officials of the DAE said the farmers are now sowing potato seed after harvesting short duration and early varieties of Transplanted Aman (T-Aman) rice in all eight districts of the division to harvest those from the next month.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, other agri-related departments and commercial banks are assisting the farmers to make the extensive potato farming programme a success.
“The tender plants of early variety potato are growing superbly amid favourable climatic condition in all eight districts of two agriculture regions in the division,” said Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office here Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam.
The farmers will produce 19.24 lakh tonnes of potato from 91,620 hectares of land in five districts of Rangpur agriculture region and 15.24 lakh tonnes of potato from 72,592 hectares of land in three districts of Dinajpur agriculture region this season.
Talking to BSS, farmers Yakub Ali, Solaiman Haque, Mofizul Islam and Sona Mian of different villages in Rangpur Sadar upazila said they completed sowing early varieties of potato seed after harvesting short duration Aman rice in late October last.
Farmers Sabur Ali, Keramat Mollah, Fazlul Haque and Noor Hossain said they already started harvesting early varieties of potato after sowing seed in September last to get fair price between Taka 1,200 and 1,600 per every mound at this stage.
Farmers Manik Mian, Ariful Haque Batul and Jahangir Alam of Najirdigar village in Rangpur Sadar upazila said they would cultivate potato on more land after harvesting Aman rice this time after getting repeated bumper productions in recent year.
Vegetable trader Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Bazar said early varieties of potato already appeared in local markets making the farmers happy with lucrative price between Taka 30 and 40 per kg at farmers’ levels and Taka 40 and 60 per kg at retail markets.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said sowing of potato seed has already got full momentum and the process will continue till the end of December next with completion of T-Aman rice harvest.
The DAE and other agri-related departments, institutions and organisations are providing quality potato seed and inputs to the farmers side by side with ensuring smooth supply of fertilisers to make potato cultivation programme successful.
“The officials and experts of the agriculture-related organisations are providing essential suggestions and technologies to the farmers for properly nursing growing potato plants on the crop fields across the division,” Moniruzzaman added.
Rangpur Chamber President Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu said potato production could be increased further to bring more profits to the farmers by establishing adequate potato-based agriculture industries and preservation facilities to enhance exports.