MANIKGANJ: Farmers of Manikganj district are reaping potatoes in a happy mood as the crop that yielded well this season has good prices too.
Target exceeded in the district due to timely supply of agro-inputs, favourable weather.
But the farmers have cultivated the vegetable on 1,950 hectares of land for good profit, which is more than 150 hectares compared to last year, said District Training Officer and in-charge of the Deputy Director of DAE Abu Md Anayet Ullah.
Potato has been cultivated on 600 hectares of land in Singair upazila, 580 hectares in Sadar upazila, 470 hectares in Ghior upazila and 300 hectares in Saturia upazila of the district. Farmers of other three upazilas also cultivated some potatoes.
During a visit in Ghior upazila on Sunday, this correspondent found that the farmers were harvesting potato from their land. Some were seen packing it in sacks. Some loaded a pickup van of wholesalers with the vegetable beside the road.
Akidul Islam of the village said he has cultivated potato on 60 bighas of land this season. He harvested 450 maunds of potato from five bighas of land till Sunday. It has been sold for Tk 15-17 per kg.
He will harvest potatoes from rest 40 bighas of land next month and then keep it in a specialised cold storage of Dhamrai upazila, said Akidul, adding that he took the decision to harvest it later, hoping to earn more profits.
Monirul Islam in the upazila said he has cultivated potato on six bighas of land this year. The production is good this time.
They will increase the scale of potato farming in near future as it earns good profit, he said.
Wholesaler Maynul Hossain of Ghior upazila said he buys potato directly from fields in different areas of the upazila and then takes it to different markets in Dhaka for sale.
He purchased 325 maunds of potato till Sunday, said Maynul Hossain, adding that the farmers have begun to harvest their crop in advance and it will continue till the end of March.
Talking to farmers of other areas in the upazila, it is found that the production cost of potato is Tk 10 to Tk 11 a kilogram, whereas the growers are selling it at Tk 20 per kg.
The DAE official said this year, the potato production is good because of the favorable weather condition.