36.85 lakh MTs potato produced in Rajshahi division

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RAJSHAHI, April 18, 2019 (BSS)-Farmers have harvested more than 36.85 lakh
metric tonnes (MTs) of potato in all eight districts under Rajshahi division
during the current season.

Talking to BSS here today, Dev Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), says the farmers got the yield
from around 1.64 lakh hectares of land brought under the cash crop
cultivation.

He said many of the growers harvested 23.68 tonnes per hectare in an
average, up by one to 1.5 tonnes in the previous year.

In comparison with the previous year, the climatic condition remains
suitable for the crop and the present market price is also apposite for the
farmers.

Md Alauddin, 45, a farmer of Borgachhi Nawdapara village under Paba
upazila, told BSS that he had brought four bighas of land under potato
cultivation.

“I got an expected yield due to suitable climatic condition,” he added in a
smiling face.

Currently, the newly harvested potatoes are being sold in the local markets
in plenty with more or less better prices benefiting the growers in the
region, markets sources said.

“I reaped a good profit after cultivating potato on five bighas of land.
The potato farming has made my family happy,” said Abdul Maleque, a farmer of
Baosha village under Bagha Upazila in Rajshahi district.

He mentioned that both yield and market price are almost satisfactory.

Babul Dewan, a farmer of a Char village under the same upazila, said many
farmers are seen cultivating potato in char areas of Padma River as they got
the taste of profit of the cash crop farming.

Golam Rasul, a farmer of Darusha village under Paba upazila, said both
acreage and yield were boosted up in the wake of a favourable climatic
condition and availability of standard seeds in the region.

This season, he along with his sons cultivated potato on around 150 bighas
of land. He said, “We are satisfied with harvested yield as the weather was
absolutely supportive”.

Rasul further said there is a need of enhancing the number of cold storages
for betterment of the potato growers.

Potato farming has now been expanded to the dried land in the vast Barind
tract with massive promotion of commercial farming as a result of irrigation
facilities promoted by the Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA).

Meanwhile, potato farming through net house system for multiplying the
tissue-culture based potato seed successfully has been gaining popularity in
the region opening up a new door in the cash crop farming.

Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, a commercial farmer of Mollikpur village under Paba
upazila, said number and acreage of the modern farming method has been
enhanced significantly for the last couple of years because of its better
output.

Mijanur Rahman Kazi, general secretary of Seed Potato Growers Cooperative
Society, told BSS that around 500 seed growing farmers are very happy with
their satisfactory yield achieved through using the net-house farming method
last year.

He said the farming of foundation seed of potato through using tissue
culture technology and net-house system has gradually been gaining popularity
everywhere in the region for the last couple of years.

The private entrepreneurs are showing interest in boosting the mother
potato-seed production locally after using the modern technology instead of
depending on the local seed.

Apart from this, the potato growers are also showing their interest in
cultivating potato through using the foundation seed as they have been
reaping more yields.

“We can reduce dependence on import by enhancing domestic production
through proper and best uses of the modern technologies in the farming,”
Rahman added.

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