RAJSHAHI, Jan 4: Due to a huge loss in potato for a very low price and the cold storages of the district still filled with hundreds of bags of potato of last season, many farmers of the district have lost their interest to cultivate potato further in their fields. For the same reason, potato cultivation in the district has been decreased nearly in 22,000 bighas of land this year.
Some farmers of the district informed, they have started potato cultivation in their fields even after incurring loss last year. Though early variety of potato is already in the market, many farmers were still sowing potato while some others were busy in taking care of potato plants in their fields.
Abul Hossain (35) a potato farmer of Naohata village under Paba upazila informed, last season they did not get satisfactory price of potato. A sack containing 85 kilogramme of potato was sold during last harvesting season at Tk 1,300 but soon the price fell abnormally and they have to sell a sack of potato at Tk 300 only. Due to such low price, many farmers even did not release their potato from the cold storage and the cold storage owners were selling those potato at a throwaway price. He further mentioned, though potato farmers earned a good profit during the harvesting season, they incurred loss by storing potato in cold storage.
Cold storage owners in Rajshahi informed, the stores were still holding potato of last season. It will take those 10 to 15 days further to clear the stores and they would start to load their cold storages with newly harvested potato once again from February 10.
Potato farmers of the district informed, the potato cultivation in the district has been decreased this year due to loss of last year. However, they said, a cool temperature during winter helps boost the production of potato and so far the climate remained suitable for potato cultivation in the district.
Rahim Uddin Sarker, President's Medal winner potato farmer at Borgachhi area under Paba upazila informed, he has cultivated potato on 12 bighas of land this year. His sons have also cultivated potato on nearly 150 bighas of land and they were hoping a good harvest this year as the climatic condition so far remained suitable. He mentioned, due to loss in potato farming last year, many farmers this year remained reluctant to cultivate potato further that is why potato cultivation has decreased in the upazila this year.
Deb Dulal Dhali, Depty Director of Department of Agriculture Extension, Rajshahi, informed, potato cultivation in the district has been decreased in the district this year. The field condition was still suitable and he hoped, if such climatic condition prevailed, there will be a satisfactory potato production this year.
He further informed, during the current season DAE had fixed a target of producing potato on 42,150 hectares of land but actually potato has been cultivated on 40,361 hectares of land in the district. He added, last year potato was cultivated on 43,481 hectares of land.