RANGPUR: The farmers have achieved a bumper production of potato after harvesting a total of over 21.62 lakh tonnes of the crop this time in Rangpur agriculture zone, reports BSS.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said a target of producing over 18.96 lakh tonnes of potato had been fixed from 94,830 hectares of land in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region during the just ended Rabi season.
The farmers, however, had cultivated potato in 94,843 hectares of land, which was 13 hectares more than the fixed farming target of potato this time.
“After completing harvest recently, the farmers have produced 21.62 lakh tonnes potato exceeding its fixed production target by 2.65 lakh tonnes or 14 percent in the region,” Horticulture specialist of DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam told to the agency on Monday.
He said that the DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and other organisations and departments provided quality potato seeds and inputs to the farmers to achieve the success. Meanwhile, the farmers expressed their pleasure over super bumper potato production and recent rise in its market price.
Farmer Ariful Haque Batul of village Najirdigar under Sadar upazila here on Monday said he cultivated ‘Granula’ variety of potato on his four acres of land and harvested 28.21 tonnes of the crop this season.
“I’m selling every sac of potato containing 84 kilogram of the crop at Taka 430 per sac on an average and earning better now though the price was lower in recent weeks,” he said.
“Every sac containing 84 kilogram of ‘Diamond’, ‘Cardinal’, ‘Raja’ and ‘Astarisk’ varieties of potato is being sold at rates between Taka 640 and Taka 660 in the local markets,” said potato trader Mubarak Ali at Bazar in Rangpur.
Farmers Mofizar Rahman, Azizul Haque and Abdul Kuddus of different villages under Taraganj upazila here said they had already completed potato harvest and got bumper production.
Senior Vice-president of Rangpur Chamber Mostoba Hossain Ripan suggested for taking more steps to increase potato export along with establishing potato-based agro-industries and preservation facilities in the region to ensure fair price of potato.
“Though local exporters are now exporting potato to Malaysia, Singapore and some other countries, newer markets should be searched for enhancing potato export to newer countries to make its farming more profitable,” he added.
President of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu said, “It is possible to export huge quantity of ‘Granula’ potato from Rangpur region to Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern, African, European and far eastern countries.
“The nation might earn huge foreign exchange by increasing potato export to the foreign counties from Rangpur region in future if the current export-friendly situation prevails constantly in the country,” Titu added.