Medical

Farmers to produce 45.67 lakh tonnes potato in Rajshahi

RAJSHAHI, Farmers and others concerned are hopeful about a good potato yield in the region during the current season as overall climatic condition remains favorable for the farming since its initial stage.

With the hope of making profit like the previous seasons, the farmers are

now very busy in various field level works like land preparation, seedsowing

of late varieties, nursing of the growing plants and harvesting and marketing

of the early varieties everywhere in eight districts under the division.

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing

more than 45.67 lakh tonnes of potato from 1.68 lakh hectares of land in the

Rajshahi division.

Currently, early variety potato has appeared in the local markets in plenty

with more or less better prices benefiting the growers in the region, markets

sources said.

I am getting profit financially after cultivating advance variety of

potato on five bigha of land. The potato farming has made my family happy,

said Abdul Maleque, a farmer of Baosha village under Bagha Upazila in

Rajshahi district.

He mentioned that both yield and market price is almost satisfactory. Babul

Dewan, a farmer of a Char village under the same upazila, says many farmers

are seen cultivating potato in char areas of Padma River as they got the

taste of profit of the cast crop farming.

Golam Rasul, a farmer of Darusha village under Paba Upazila, said both

acreage and yield were boosted up in the wake of a favorable climatic

condition and availability of standard seed in the region.

This season, he along with his sons cultivated potato on around 150 bighas

of land. He said, We are very much optimistic about our outcomes as the

weather was absolutely supportive.

Rasul further said there is a need of enhancing the number of cold storages

for betterment of the potato growers. Potato farming has now been expanded to

the dried lands in the vast Barind tract with massive promotion of commercial

farming as a result of irrigation facilities promoted by the Barind

Multipurpose Development Authorities (BMDA).

MozurEMawla, Upazila Agriculture Officer, said the farmers are expecting

a better yield as there was no major natural calamity that can damage its

outputs.

Most of the growers' harvested better yields of potato in last three to

four years and they also obtained expected sale proceeds in the harvesting

stage.

I had sold out an 85kg potato bag at Taka 800 to 850 in previous season,

said Ziarul Haque, a farmer of Baya village.

Mustafizur Rahman, additional director of DAE, said the officials, experts

and other organisations concerned have been providing necessary suggestions

to the farmers to face the cold situation so that the growing potato fields

are not affected by late blight disease.

He says the DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh

Agriculture Research Institute, other agrirelated departments and commercial

banks are assisting the farmers to make the extensive potato farming program

a success.

Many of the farmers said potato farming could become more profitable if

adequate preservation facilities were ensured and potatobased agro

industries are set up besides enhancing exports.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)