Potatoes of Asterisk variety are being sold for Tk. 36 per kilogram in the main wholesale markets of Bogura city.
The sale of 12 metric tons of potatoes from R.B. Cold Storage at rates fixed by the government started from Saturday morning with the co-operation of Zila Administration.
It has been found that the initiative was taken by Greater Bogura Cold Storage Owners’ Association and Rajabajar Byabshayi Samiti (Rajbari Business Owners’ Association) with the co-operation of Zila Administration. Any individual buyer can buy up to 5 kilograms of potatoes in one day. However, other potatoes of the Pakri variety are being sold for Tk. 52 per kilogram in the markets.
Kabir Ahammed, a buyer who went to buy potatoes says, the price of potatoes in the markets are not decreasing despite being fixed by the government. However, he is satisfied with the rate of Tk.36. School teacher ABM Sultan Mahmud says, the price of other products are also increasing with the increase of potato prices. It has become difficult to buy daily essential products. It would be beneficial if other markets also sold potatoes at the government-fixed rate like Rajabajar.
It has been found that there is no opportunity for price-hikes in retail and wholesale markets. The price is being increased in the markets where business owners bring potatoes from cold stores and sell them.
This information has been found by the Consumer Conservation Department while monitoring the cold stores.
During a discussion with Karatoa Cold Storage Owners’ Association and business owners in the conference room of the Bagura Zila Administrator on Tuesday (19 Sept), AHM Shafiquzzaman, Director General of the National Consumer Rights Conservation Department said, “The ones who are increasing potato prices in the cold storages are not genuine farmers, the potatoes there are being sold for extra profits. Steps are being taken against those who are increasing the prices. There is profit for the farmers and business owners in the price fixed by the government. However, we could not implement the fixed price. The reason for this is that the price is being increased by those who are withdrawing potatoes from the cold storages. We have seen irregularities in Munshiganj and in Shibganj, Bogura on Tuesday. 3 individuals in Shibganj have been taken into police custody. The strict existing laws will be enforced against them after investigating. The country cannot be taken hostage in this way. These (irregularities) are being planned and this is known by intelligence agencies. The government has fixed prices taking the business owners’ profits into consideration.” Statements were also made by Police Super Sudeep Kumar Chakrabarty and business owners with Saiful Islam as the president of the event.
The National Consumer Rights Conservation Department conducted a raid earlier that day in the cold storage in Shibganj, Bogura. The raid of R & A Potato Cold Storage in Kashipur of Mokamtala Union was conducted by AHM Shafiquzzaman, Director General of the National Consumer Rights Conservation Department. 3 individuals were taken into custody for illegally hoarding potatoes and selling them at hiked prices.
It has been found that in the last season, potatoes were planted in 94 thousand 315 hectors of land in Bogura and Joypurhat. 21 lakh 48 thousand 380 metric tons of potatoes were produced. The farmers sold the potatoes at relatively lower prices due to preservation-related complications and costs. Of those potatoes, a record amount of 5 lakh 5 thousand 268 metric tons were preserved by business owners in 56 cold storages across 2 Zilas. On the other hand, the people are relieved due to the selling of potatoes at government-fixed prices in Rajabajar, Bogura.
Parimal Prasad Raj, General Secretary of Rajabajar Business Owners’ Association says, “Potatoes are being sold at Tk.36 per kilogram from today with the co-operation of the Zila Administration. One buyer can buy up to 5 kilograms of potatoes in one day. I am hoping that with the continued co-operation of Zila Administration, the potato market will remain stable.” Rakib Hasan CHowdhury, Assistant Commissioner and Executive Magistrate of Zila Administration (Business, Trade and Investment Branch) says, “12 metric tons of potatoes of R & B Cold Storage in Rajabajar have reached the consumers at the rate of about Tk. 36 since Saturday morning. This program will be conducted in different cold storages every day.”