Record potato output: Fair rice make farmers happy in Rangpur Region

Farmers are happy after getting an all- time record production of over 23.20-lakh tonnes of potato and fair price this season and its trade is getting momentum now in Rangpur Agriculture Zone.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said farmers got quality seed, fertilisers and all assistance timely from officials of DAE and other agriculture related departments and organisations to achieve super bumper potato production.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 19.24-lakh tonnes of potato from 91,620 hectares of land for all five districts during this current 2018-2018 Rabi seasons in the region. “However, farmers had finally brought 93,024 hectares of land under potato cultivation exceeding the fixed cultivation target by 1,404 hectares this season,” Horticulture specialist of DAE at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said yesterday.
Farmers have finally produced 23.20-lakh tonnes of potato with an average yield rate of 24.94 tonnes per hectare and higher by 3.96-lakh tones or 20.58 percent than the fixed production target of 19.24-lakh tonnes this season.
Talking to BSS, a number of farmers expressed happiness over the super bumper potato production and prevailing market price of the commodity everywhere in the region now.
Farmer Moazzem Hossain of village Darshona and Ariful Haque of village Najirdigar in Rangpur Sadar today said they cultivated different varieties of potato on their two and four acres of land respectively and got excellent production this season.
Similarly, farmers Barun Kumar, Liyakat Ali, Mofizar Rahman, Abdul Kuddus and Hafizur Rahman of different villages in Badarganj and Mithapukur upazilas here said they had already completed harvest of cultivated potato and got bumper output.
President of Rangpur District Potato Growers’ Association Khwaja Ahmed said the farmer has got excellent production of potato this year and the prevailing market price is still reaming fair. “The farmers are selling each sac containing 84 kilogram of ‘Diamond’,
‘Cardinal’, ‘Raja’ and ‘Astarisk’ varieties of potato is being sold at rates between Taka 800 and Taka 850 in the local markets,” Khwaja said.
However, farmers had to sell potato of these varsities at rates between Taka 640 and 660 per every 84-kg sac in region last year, he added.
Potato traders Hafizur Rahman and Abul Hossain at Rangpur City Market told BSS that the retailers are selling potato at rates between Taka 12 and 25 per kg depending on varieties and qualities of the commodity.
Talking to BSS, President of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu said though a little quantity of potato is being exported abroad from Rangpur region now, the nation might earn huge foreign exchange by enhancing potato export in future.
“There is a huge prospect to enhance exporting huge quantity of ‘Granula’ variety potato from Rangpur region to Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi
Arabia and other Middle Eastern, African, European and far eastern countries,” he said.
Senior Vice-president of Rangpur Chamber Mostoba Hossain Ripan said local exporters are now exporting a little quality of locally produced potato to Malaysia, Singapore and some other countries from Rangpur region.
“We should search for newer markets to enhance potato export to make its farming more profitable,” Ripan said suggesting for establishing potato-based agro-industries and preservation facilities in the region to ensure fair price of potato for farmers, reports BSS from Rangpur.