RANGPUR, The farmers have produced 39,884 tonnes of sweet potato in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region during Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and market
sources said farmers are happy with market price of the newly harvested sweet
potato between Taka 900 and 1,000 per every 40 kg (mound) depending on
varieties and qualities.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 49,635 tonnes of sweet potato from
2,660 hectares of land for Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and
Nilphamari districts in the region this time.
However, farmers had cultivated the crop on 1,780 hectares of land less by
980 hectares of land than the fixed farming target due to crop
diversification and cultivation of winter vegetables, maize and potato on
more land this time.
Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist
Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam said many char people are farming sweet potato on
sandybarren and char land side by side with farmers in the mainland.
The sandyloamy and sandy land are suitable for sweet potato farming. So,
there is a brighter prospect of enhancing cultivation of the lowcost crop
without using fertilisers and irrigation water on char land, Islam added.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh
Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said production of sweet potato could be
increased largely by imparting training, providing latest technologies and
easyterm agriloans to char people.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional Md. Moniruzzaman said an adult
person can meet daily demand of 13 gram vitaminA by consuming a single sweet
The people of Philippines and Papua New Guinea, some African and Latin
American countries consume sweet potato as alternative to rice while in the
USA and Japan it is widely used as food, he added.
Agriculturist Dr MA Mazid, who got Independence Award in food security
category last year, said sandy and sandyloamy land, char lands and riverbeds
are suitable for sweet potato cultivation.
The people living in riverine char areas of Rangpur agriculture region
are farming sweet potato along with widely consuming the produce as
alternative foodstuff like in many other countries, he said.
He said many tasty foods like 'halua', 'payesh', bread, 'pauruti', biscuit,
pastry and cake could be produced through processing sweet potato with other
ingredients for its devitrified consumption.
If we can make common people habituated to sweet potato consumption, we
can largely reduce pressure on rice, Dr Mazid said adding that steps should
be taken to make people aware in this regard.
He called for increasing sweet potato production and suggested for changing
food habit to reduce pressure on rice as sweet potato has the same
carbohydrate, more nutrient and vitamin than many other major foods like
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)