A total of 80,000 tonnes of potatoes are stored in 19 cold storages in the district. There is a demand of 40,000 tonnes of potato in the local consumer level. After meeting the demand, 40,000 tonnes of potato will be surplus in the district.
Rahela Parveen, Deputy Director of Department Agriculture Extension (DAE) of the district, said this season different varieties of potatoes have been cultivated in about 38,625 hectares of land in the district. A total of 9,23,200 tonnes of potato have been produced and 1,50,104 tonnes of potato stored at 19 cold storages in the district.
Of these, 25 percent are seed potato and 75 percent for consumption potato.
A lot of potatoes is stored in the cold storage, some unscrupulous potato traders are trying to increase potato price by creating an artificially shortage in the market.
The potato was bought from the farmers at a rate of Taka 10 to 15 per kg. The price of the potato will be rate at Taka 17 to 22 per kg including cost of cold storage and other costs, she said.
The Ministry of Commerce in the country has fixed the price of potato, wholesale price at Taka 26 to 27 per kg and maximum retail price of potato at Taka 35 to 36. "If the wholesale price fixed by the government is sold at the rate of Taka 26 to 27 per kg, the stockholder and retailers will have a profit of Taka 5 to 10 per kg," Rahela Parveen said.
On September 17, three potato traders of R B cold storage of Kalai upazila of the district were fined by the Directorate of Consumer Rights for selling potatoes at a higher price. After that operation, the potato traders reduced the supply of potato from the cold stores. As a result, an artificial crisis of potato in the market, she said.
Recently visited Machua Bazar Notunhat and Purba Bazar areas of the district town have seen that potato are being sold at a higher price than the government's fixed retail price.
The variety of Jam potato is being sold at Taka 60 to 65 per kg, steak potato at Taka 40 to 45, Bhandarpur potato at Taka 55, Fata Pakri at Taka 45 to 50 per kg, Rahela Parveen, Deputy Director of the DAE said.
Abdur Jobbar, a retail vegetable trader in Machua Bazar in the district town, said "Potato has been bought at higher price, so there is no chance to sell at low price".
Biren Mahant, a vegetable trader in the Purba Bazar, said that the wholesale prices of the potato are Taka 38 to 45 per kg. We could not buy potato at the price fixed by the government. So, how we can sell potato at the rate of Taka 35 to 36 per kg?
Ratan Kumar Roy, department of agricultural marketing officer of the district, said traders are not taking potato out of the cold storage, as a result, shortage of potato in the market. Therefore, the price of potato cannot be reduced in the retail market. Some unscrupulous traders who had stored potato intentionally reduced the release of their stocks to artificially hike the price, he said.
The DAE said legal action will be taken under the Agricultural Marketing Act against those who do not following the government instructions.