PRAN starts potato export for second year

DHAKA, Feb 13, 2017 (BSS) - PRAN, a processed food company in Bangladesh, has started exporting potatoes for the second year, setting the export target for this year at 20,000 tonnes.

The first consignment of 52 tonnes of potatoes was sent to Malaysia on February 9 through Chittagong port, said a press release today.

The potatoes are grown by PRAN's contract farmers. Now, PRAN has around 2000 farmers who cultivate potatoes in Dinajpur, Rangpur, Joypurhat, Kurigram and Thakurgaon districts.

Abdul Majid, a contract farmer from Biral upazila under Dinajpur district said, "I have been cultivating potato for PRAN for two years as it is more profitable. Last year I cultivated potatoes in three acres of land and this year cultivating potatoes in four acres of land."

PRAN provides quality seeds and fertilizer at a low cost to the farmers with a view to producing quality potatoes.

'PRAN exports quality potatoes as we give training, technical support and modern varieties to contract farmers. Farmers are being benefited as we purchase potato in fair price,' said Mahatab Uddin, chief operating officer at PRAN Agro Business Ltd.

'We offer buy-back guarantee to the farmers so that they feel encourage to grow potato,' he said adding that collection and packaging of the potatoes are done following International standards.

"PRAN started exporting potatoes last year on a limited scale. We earned good feedback from the international market. As a result, we are planning to export potatoes to new markets including Indonesia, Singapore, Qatar, Japan and Sri Lanka," said Kamruzzaman Kamal, director marketing at PRAN-RFL Group.

He also said apart from export, the potatoes grown by the contract farmers are used to produce chips and starch.

PRAN started exporting potatoes in 2016.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)