A bumper potato production is likely in Rangpur agriculture region where farmers have already attained its fixed farming target as sowing of its seeds continues braving the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers are very happy after getting lucrative market price of their newly harvested early varieties of potato between Taka 20 and 30 per kg depending on qualities and varieties.
The DAE has fixed a target of producing over 23.67 lakh tonnes of potato from 93,350 hectares of land for all five districts in the region during the current 2020-2021 Rabi season.
“The farmers have already brought 93,400 hectares of land under potato cultivation just crossing the fixed cultivation target for the region,” Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman told BSS.
The farmers will continue sowing potato seeds till the third week of January next both in the mainland and char areas in all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts in the region this season.
Meanwhile, farmers are continuing harvest of early potato varieties they had cultivated after harvesting short duration as well as hybrid varieties of Aman rice on their croplands in the region.
“Farmers are showing more interest in farming potatoes both in the mainland and char areas after getting government assistance to recoup the crop losses they incurred during recent floods in Rangpur agriculture region,” Moniruzzaman said.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) and related agencies and institutions provided quality potato seeds to farmers to make potato farming successful this season.
“Officials of the DAE and other related organisations are providing latest technologies to farmers in properly nursing their potato fields to get better yield facing the current cold wave situation,” Moniruzzaman added.
Talking to BSS, farmers Echhahaq Ali, Badiul Islam and Ariful Haque of different villages here said they have cultivated early variety potato after harvesting short duration Aman rice and are harvesting and selling those to earn more profits.
Farmer Mofizar Rahman of Badarganj upazila in Rangpur said he is harvesting early varieties of potato he cultivated after harvesting short duration Aman rice this season and will cultivate Boro rice on the same land.
Meanwhile, bigger potato grower Khwaja Ahmed of Rangpur expressed satisfaction over the present market price of potato and requested the government for taking adequate steps to ensure fair price of the late variety potatoes and its export abroad.
Vegetable trader at Rangpur City Bazar Kitchen Market Hafizur Rahman told BSS that farmers are getting better price of their newly harvested potato that has adequate supply in local markets now.
Talking to BSS, President of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu stressed on setting up of adequate potato preservation facilities and agri-industries along with enhancing its exports to make potato farming more profitable in Rangpur region.