Wednesday, 8 February, 2023
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Bumper potato production likely in Rangpur region

Bumper potato production likely in Rangpur region

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RANGPUR: An all-time record production of potato is likely in Rangpur agriculture region where early varieties of potato have already appeared in local markets with lucrative prices making farmers happy.

Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said the government has fixed an all-time record target of producing 23,39,930 tonnes of potato from 92,675 hectares of land for the region during the current Rabi season.

“Farmers have already brought 56,855 hectares of land, 61.35 percent against the fixed farming target, under potato cultivation till Sunday,” Additional Director of the DAE’s Rangpur region Agriculturist Mohammad Shah Alam told BSS.

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 have started harvesting early varieties of potato they had cultivated after harvesting short duration Aman rice on the same land since late October and early November last.

“Farmers have already harvested their cultivated early varieties of potatoes on 925 hectares of land and produced 9,250 tonnes of the tuber crop till Sunday in the region,” Alam said.

Getting special assistance from the government and repeated bumper output every year, enthusiastic farmers are showing keen interest in farming potatoes both in the mainland and char areas during the last thirteen years.

The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) and related organisations are providing quality potato seeds and assistance to farmers to make the potato farming program successful.

“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 in the face of the upcoming possible cold wave situation,” Alam added.

Independence Award-2018 (food security) winner Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid highly appreciated various initiatives taken by the government to assist farmers in enhancing production of potato and other winter crops.

“Officials of the DAE, other agriculture-related organisations and a number of NGOs are providing latest technologies to farmers for proper sowing of potato seeds, agronomic management and nursing tender potato plants to get maximum yield,” he said.

Talking to the agency, farmers Abdur Rahman, Mintu Rahman, Harun Or Rashid and babul Hossain of different villages in Rangpur said they are earning more profits now from harvesting early variety potatoes cultivated after harvesting short duration Aman rice.

Farmer Abdus Salam of Sadar upazila in Kurigram 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.

Potato growers Manik Mian of village Darshona and Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar upazila expressed satisfaction over the present market price of their harvested early varieties of potatoes.

Vegetable traders at Rangpur City Bazar Kitchen Market Mofizur Rahman and Hafizur Rahman said farmers are currently getting better prices of their newly harvested potato that has adequate supply in local markets.

Vegetable trader Fazlur Rahman at Keranipara Kitchen Market in Rangpur city said newly harvested potatoes are currently being sold at rates between Taka 55 and Taka 65 per kg in retail markets depending on qualities and varieties.

Talking to the agency, Rangpur Chamber President of Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu stressed on establishing more agro-based industries in Rangpur region for preserving, producing and enhancing export of potato products to ensure fair prices of potato for farmers.