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BCSA seeks govt co-op to sell surplus potatoes

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 11 August, 2021 12:00 AM
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BCSA seeks govt co-op to sell surplus potatoes

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Bangladesh Cold Storage Association (BCSA) has sought the cooperation of government in selling stocked and surplus potatoes in cold storage.

Bangladesh witnessed bumper potato production of 11 million metric tonnes in the current fiscal year, according to BCSA.

There is a surplus of about 2 million tonnes of potatoes because the demand for potatoes in the country is 8.5-9 million metric tonnes.

About 5.4 million tonnes of edible potatoes, seed potatoes and exportable potatoes are stored in about 400 cold storages in this year.

Because of low market price of potato, if the stored potatoes cannot be marketed, a large quantity of potatoes will remain unsold.

A delegation of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) and BCSA met Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque at the Secretariat on Tuesday.

FBCCI Senior Vice President Mostofa Azad Chowdhury, Bangladesh Cold Storage Association Chairman Mosharraf Hossain Pusti, Vice President Ishtiaq Ahmed, Mainakuti Cold Storage Chairman Sarwar Hossain and Managing Director Nur Mohammad were present at the meeting.

Demanding distribution of potatoes for various government works including relief, the delegation said that proper use of surplus potatoes is possible if the government will procure and distribute potatoes among the relief, Kabikha, VGF, OMS, Rohingyas and the rations of the law enforcement agencies.

Agriculture Minister Md Abdur Razzaque said, "At the beginning of last year, we took initiative to distribute potatoes in various relief works among Rohingyas and in rations, so the consumption of potatoes increased a lot and eventually the price of potatoes got out of control.”

For this reason, we will take necessary steps for the marketing of surplus potatoes this year, the minister added.

The minister further said that in order to have a fair market for potatoes, exports need to be increased along with the local market. Considering that, efforts are being made to increase potato exports.

He hoped that potato exports will increase a lot in the near future.