Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) have predicted a bumper potato production in Rangpur agriculture region where the farmers have exceeded its fixed farming target this season, reports BSS.
Meanwhile, the farmers are now very happy after getting lucrative market price of their newly harvested early varieties of potato between Taka 20 and 30 per kilogram at their crop fields depending on qualities and different varieties.
Officials of the DAE at its regional office here said a target of producing 19.24 lakh tonnes of potato has been fixed from 91,620 hectares of land for all five districts in the region during this Rabi seasons.
“The farmers have already brought 92,978 hectares of land under potato cultivation, which is more than 1.48 percent than the fixed cultivation target for the region,” said Horticulture specialist of the DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam.
The farmers will continue sowing of potato seed till the third week of January to bring more land under its farming in all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Nilphamari, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts in the agriculture region this season.
“Meanwhile, the 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,” Islam added.
Talking to BSS, farmers Akram Hossain, Manik Mian and Ariful Haque of different villages here said they had cultivated early variety potato after harvesting short duration Aman rice and are harvesting and selling those to earn huge profits this time.
Farmers Mahfuz Ali of Badarganj upazila in Rangpur said he already completed harvest to earn excellent profits from cultivating potato after harvesting short duration Aman rice this season and started preparation to cultivate Boro rice on the same lands.
Meanwhile, bigger potato growers Khwaja Ahmed, Nur Mohammad and Afzal Hossain of Rangpur Sadar upazila expressed satisfaction over present market price of potato and requested the government for ensuring fair price of the late variety potatoes. Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office here Md Moniruzzaman said the DAE, Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) and other departments have provided quality potato seed to the farmers to make potato farming programme a success.
“Officials of the DAE and other agriculture-related organisations are providing necessary suggestions and technologies to the farmers in properly nursing their potato fields to get better yield facing the current cold wave situation,” Moniruzzaman added. President of Rangpur Chamber Mostafa Sohrab Chowdhury Titu laid emphasis on taking necessary steps for setting up of adequate potato preservation facilities and agri-industries along with enhancing its exports to make potato farming more profitable.