RANGPUR: Braving the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, farmers produced an all-time record 24.86 lakh tonnes of potato in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a target of producing over 23.67 lakh tonnes of potato was fixed from 93,350 hectares of land for the region this season, reports BSS.“However, farmers finally cultivated potatoes on 97,315 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 3,965 hectares or 4.25 percent,” Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Khandker Abdul Wahed, said on Wednesday.
After completing harvest of potatoes last week, farmers produced 24 lakh 86 thousand and 182 tonnes of the crop exceeding the fixed production target by one lakh 18 thousand and 492 tonnes or five percent in the region this season.
Meanwhile, farmers are happy with the excellent prices of potatoes since the beginning of the harvesting season and its record production at an average yield rate of 25.55 tonnes per hectare of land this season.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and related agencies and institutions provided quality potato seeds to farmers to make the potato farming programme a success.
“The field level DAE officials provided latest technologies to farmers to assist them in ensuring proper nursing of their growing potato plants to get better yield, also braving the cold wave,” Wahed added.
Potato grower Alhaj Khwaja Ahmed of Rangpur said farmers got excellent yield rate with all-time high prices of all varieties of potato following huge increase in export of potato from Rangpur region this season.Potato trader Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Market farmers are selling each sac containing 84 kilogram of ‘Diamond’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Raja’, ‘Granula’, and ‘Astarisk’ varieties of potato at Taka 1,050 to Taka 1,200 to earn excellent profits this year.
Potato retailers Fazlur Rahman, Zahidul Islam and Hamidul Haque at different kitchen markets in Rangpur city said they are selling potato at rates between Taka 14 and 30 per kg depending on the varieties and qualities.
President of Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu expressed happiness over excellent potato output and its better market prices this season in Rangpur agriculture region.
He put importance on establishing potato-based agro-industries and preservation facilities of potato and some other vegetables and enhancing exports of those to ensure fair price for farmers.
Potato farmer Shamsul Haque, Arman Hossain, Mostafizur Rahman and Manik Mian of different villages in Rangpur expressed happiness over the super bumper potato yield and its market price this season.
“I had cultivated potatoes on my four acres of crop lands and got excellent production with better market prices after competing harvest by mid-March last,” said farmer Ariful Haque of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar upazila.