Farmers eying bumper potato production in Rangpur region

Published : 12 Dec 2021 08:39 PM | Updated : 16 Dec 2021 11:01 PM

Farmers are expecting a bumper potato production in Rangpur agriculture region where early varieties of potato have already appeared in local markets with lucrative prices making them happy. 

Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a target of producing 2,264,596 tonnes of potato has been fixed from 97,125 hectares of land for Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi season. “Farmers have already brought 61,200 hectares of land, 63 percent against the fixed farming target, under potato cultivation in the region till Saturday,” Additional Director of the DAE's Rangpur region Agriculturist Md Tauhidul Ikbal told BSS on Sunday. 

Sowing of potato seeds will continue till January next both in the mainland and char areas in all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts in the region. 

Meanwhile, farmers are continuing harvest of early potato varieties they had cultivated after harvesting short duration and hybrid varieties of Aman rice on their croplands since November last in the region. 

“Enthusiastic farmers are showing keen interest in farming potatoes both in the mainland and char areas after getting government assistance in the region during the last 12 years,” he said. The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and related organizations have provided quality potato seeds to farmers to make the intensive potato farming a success this season. 

“Officials of the DAE and other related organizations are providing latest technologies to farmers in properly nursing their potato fields to get better yield even facing the upcoming possible cold wave situation,” Ikbal added. 

Talking to BSS, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid lauded various initiatives taken by the government to assist farmers in enhancing production of potato and other winter crops. 

“Field level officials of the DAE, other agriculture-related organizations and some NGOs are providing latest technologies to farmers for proper sowing of potato seeds and nursing tender potato plants to get maximum yield,” he added. 

Talking to BSS, farmers Rafikul Islam, Shachindra Nath and Mozahar Ali of different villages here said they have cultivated early variety potato after harvesting short duration Aman rice and are harvesting those to earn more profits now. 

Farmer Mokhlesur of Badarganj upazila in Rangpur said he is harvesting early varieties of potato he cultivated after harvesting short duration Aman rice and will cultivate Boro rice on the same land this season. 

Read more: Rain damages potato fields in Munshiganj, farmers in despair

Potato grower Ariful Haque of Rangpur Sadar expressed satisfaction over the present market price of potato. 

Vegetable trader at Rangpur City Bazar Kitchen Market Hafizur Rahman on Sunday told BSS that farmers are getting better prices of their newly harvested potato that has adequate supply in local markets now.  Vegetable trader Fazlur Rahman at Keranipara Kitchen Market in Rangpur city said newly harvested potatoes are currently being sold at rates between Taka 30 and Taka 50 per kg in retail markets depending on qualities and varieties. 

“The wholesalers are selling newly harvested potatoes at rates between Taka 25 and Taka 40 per kg to retailers after purchasing the same 

from middlemen traders and farmers at rates between taka 20 and 35 per kg,” he said.

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