Tuesday, 30 May, 2023

Record 26.85 lakh tonnes of potato produced in Rangpur region

RANGPUR: Farmers are delighted after producing an all-time record of 26,85,282 tonnes of potato and getting higher prices this season in Rangpur agriculture region. 

Market prices of potato are higher this time following various pragmatic steps taken by the government to increase its export to Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries, reports BSS.

Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a target of producing 23 lakh 39 thousand 930 tonnes of potato was fixed from 92,675 hectares of land for all five districts of the region this season.

“However, farmers finally brought 97,327 hectares of land under potato cultivation exceeding the fixed farming target by 4,652 hectares or 5.02 percent,” said Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md Aftab Hossain.

Farmers have finally produced 26 lakh 85 thousand and 282 tonnes of the potato at an average yield rate of 27.59 tonnes per hectare of land exceeding the fixed production target by four lakh 45 thousand and 352 tonnes or 14.76 percent.

The DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation and other agriculture related organisations provided high quality potato seeds, latest technologies and training to farmers to make the intensive potato farming programme a success.

“Potatoes produced using standard protocols of the good agricultural practices in Rangpur are being exported to different countries from March last,” Hossain said.

Local exporters have already received orders for exporting huge quantities of ‘Santa’, Diamond, ‘Kumarika’, Granula, ‘Kumbika Aluet’, ‘Astarisk’, Sunshine and other varieties of potatoes this season.

These varieties of potatoes cultivated adopting the good agricultural practices have huge demand in Russia, Singapore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Malaysia and many other countries.

Potato grower Nur Hossain of village Beltola in Pirgachha upazila of Rangpur said he is earning excellent by selling each kilogram of common varieties of potatoes at rates between Taka 16 and Taka 18 now depending on variety and quality.

Besides, farmers are selling local varieties of aristocratic potatoes like ‘Sheel Alu’ and ‘Jhau Alu’ at rates between Taka 32 and Taka 36 per kilogram to the middlemen and wholesale markets.

“Market price of potato is comparatively higher in Rangpur region this season than the previous years following its increasing export to different countries,” Hossain said.

He thanked the Ministry of Agriculture and DAE for providing training and assistance to farmers to cultivate export quality potato on a commercial basis adopting the good agricultural practices.

Potato trader Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Market said farmers are selling each sac containing 60 kilogram of ‘Santa’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Kumarika’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Raja’, ‘Granula’ and ‘Astarisk’ varieties of potato at Taka 960 to Taka 1,100 to earn superb profits.

Besides, each 60 kilogram sac of local varieties of potatoes like ‘Sheel Alu’ and ‘Jhau Alu’ are currently being sold at rates between Taka 1,900 and Taka 2,100 in the wholesale markets.

“Each kilogram of common varieties of potatoes is now being sold at rates between Taka 20 and 22 while ‘’Sheel Alu’ and ‘Jhau Alu’ at rates between Taka 40 and Taka 45 in kitchen markets,” Hafizur added.

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.

“As a result of the increasing export of locally produced potato, its market price is showing a rising trend making potato growers of Rangpur region happy this season,” he said.