Interest in potato farming on rise, but farmers face seed crisis

Published : 24 Nov 2020 08:31 PM

Farmers of Kishoreganj have become more interested in potato cultivation due to high demand of the crop. But the farmers are frustrated over shortage of seeds for the potato cultivation this season.  

There is a crisis of potato seed in the district. Farmers are not getting seeds even at high price. It has been alleged that traders are selling seeds at higher price this year due to increased demand. That is why seeds like edible potatoes are also being sold at higher price. Against this backdrop, farmers apprehend of increasing the cost of potato production.

According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), the target for potato cultivation in Kishoreganj has been set at 5,920 hectares and the production target has been set at 130,240 metric tones. 

As the weather is favorable after harvesting paddy, farmers in the district have started preparing for potato cultivation in advance. But in the beginning, they are facing extreme seed crisis. Farmers are not getting seeds even with advance money. 

Due to the crisis, Asteric, Carriage and Diamond varieties of potato seeds are being sold in different markets of the district. However, the company's designated dealers are selling ‘A’ grade potato seeds at Tk 2,200 and ‘B’ grade at Tk 2,080. 

Visiting  different markets and farmers of the district, it has been learned that the farmers have made extensive preparations to cultivate potatoe in advance as there is no rain. As a result, BRAC Seed and Agro Enterprise have been suppling seeds in the market since last week of last month. Due to the good yield, this time BRAC's potato seed is number one in the list of preferences. For this reason, the potato growers gather at the BRAC approved dealers to collect the seeds. According to Kishoreganj BADC cold storage, the price of different varieties of ‘A’ grade potato seeds has been fixed at Tk. 1,880 and ‘B’ grade at Tk. 1,840 for sale to farmers. There is a lot of demand for BADC potato seeds due to good quality. However, steps will be taken to increase the allocation in the future.

Kishoreganj DAE’s Deputy Director Md Saiful Alam said, there was some crisis in potato seeds. If potato seeds are sold at higher prices in the market, legal action will be taken through mobile court.