Record output likely, fair price makes potato farmers happy

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RANGPUR, March 25, 2020 (BSS) – Officials of the Department of
Agricultural Extension (DAE) and farmers are expecting an all-time record
production of potato in Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi
season.

Meanwhile, many potato farmers expressed happiness getting excellent
market price as harvesting of the crop is nearing completion in all five
districts under the region.

“The DAE has fixed a target of producing over 22.63-lakh tonnes of potato
from 86,642 hectares of land for the region this season,” Deputy Director of
the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman told BSS.

“The farmers had finally cultivated potato on 92,675 hectares of land
exceeding the fixed farming target by 6,133 hectares or 6.96 percent this
time,” he said.

The farmers have already harvested potatoes on 79,545 hectares of land
producing over 20-lakh tonnes and they are expecting to produce around 23.35-
lakh tonnes of potato after completing its harvest soon.

“In the region, the farmers produced 23.20-lakh tonnes of potato by
cultivating it on 93,024 hectares of land last year,” Moniruzzaman said,
predicting that this year’s potato output may cross the last year’s
production.

Talking to BSS, President of Rangpur District Potato Growers’ Association
Alhaj Khwaja Ahmed said farmers are getting excellent potato yield with all-
time high price this year.

“The farmers sold each sac containing 84 kilogram of ‘Diamond’,
‘Cardinal’, ‘Raja’, ‘Granula’, and ‘Astarisk’ varieties of potato at Taka
1,200 even two weeks ago and the current price varies between Taka 1,000 and
1,050 in local markets,” Ahmed said.

He said farmers had to sell potato at rates between Taka 800 and Taka 850
last year while at rates between Taka 640 and Taka 660 per every 84-kg sac
previous year in the region.

“Export of huge quantity of potato to Nepal from Rangpur Agriculture
Region is one of the major reasons behind its excellent price this season,”
he added.

Potato traders Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Market and Fazlur Rahman at
Keranipara kitchen market said the retailers are selling potato at rates
between Taka 18 and 28 per kg depending on varieties and qualities of the
commodity.

Rangpur Chamber President Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu predicted a
brighter prospect of exporting huge quantity of potato from Rangpur region
and suggested to establish potato-based agro-industries and preservation
facilities to ensure fair price.

Talking to BSS, potato farmers Ariful Haque Batul of Najirdigar village in
Rangpur Sadar and Abdus Salam of Sibram village in Kurigram Sadar expressed
happiness over the super bumper potato yield and its market price.

“I had cultivated different varieties of potato on my three acres of land
and got excellent production after competing harvest last week,” Batul said,
adding that he is now busy to preserve his produced potatoes in local cold
storages.

Similarly, farmers Manik Mian of Darshona village and Echhahaq Ali of
Kathihara village in Sadar upazila and Moazzem Hossain of Taraganj upazila in
Rangpur said they have got bumper potato output and excellent price this
season.

Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Muhammad
Ali said different agriculture-related organisations provided quality potato
seeds and technologies to farmers to make the potato farming programme a
success.

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