Record 3.65m tonnes of potato output expected in Rajshahi

Published : 07 Dec 2022 09:03 PM

Around 36.52 lakh tonnes of potato are expected to be produced from 1.69 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current Rabi season.

Official data showed the target of producing 14.15 lakh tonnes of potato has been set from 60,816 hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 22.38 lakh tonnes from 98,095 hectares in four other districts of Bogura zone.

The Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set the target and adopted all sorts of measures to attain the cherished goal, said Shamsul Wadud, Additional Director of the DAE.

Meanwhile, some farmers have started harvesting and marketing early varieties of potato.

The newly harvested potatoes are appearing in the local wholesale and retail markers with lucrative prices.

Nuzhat Ara Begum, a housewife of Talaimary area in the city, said they are purchasing potatoes from retailers and vendors at Taka one hundred per kilogram at present.

The farmers are getting lucrative market prices for their produce this season.

Abul Bashar, 53, a farmer of Baya village under Paba Upazila, is preparing to cultivate potatoes on around 170 bigha of land in Duary village under the same upazila. He has already leased his expected land.

He had cultivated the cash crop on 110 bigha of land in the same area last season and harvested around 9,000 maunds of potato and his profit was around Taka one crore after selling those. He's also very much hopeful about this year's farming.

Like the previous year, Ershad Mondal, another farmer of the same upazila, had taken preparation to bring around 100 bigha of land under potato farming.

He said the potato is being sold at around Taka 1,400 to 1,600 per mound, which is much higher than the previous years.

Many other farmers like Altab and Ershad are taking full-preparations to cultivate potatoes commercially. They have already completed the lease process of the lands much before harvesting the transplanted aman paddy.

Land preparation and seed sowing activities are likely to start in full-swing everywhere in the region on completion of harvesting aman paddy.

Mijanur Rahman, an operator of deep-tube-well in Krishnapur village, said the farmers are seen cultivating potatoes more instead of Boro paddy in the Barind area and the Tanore and Godagari Upazilas in particular.

He identically mentioned that the farmers are interested in potato farming as it's being adjudged as a less-irrigation consuming crop than the boro paddy.

On behalf of the 'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)' project, more than 12.58 lakh community people of 2.66 lakh households are also being motivated and encouraged for potato farming to reduce the pressure on underground water.

DASCOH Foundation has been implementing the project at around 1,280 drought-hit villages in 39 Union Parishads and three municipalities of eight upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts supported by Switzerland since 2015, said Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of the project.

Simultaneously, commercial potato farming has been expanded to the dried lands in large amounts during the last couple of years in the vast Barind tract as a result of promoting irrigation facilities by the Barind Multipurpose Development Authorities (BMDA).

Agriculturist Sirajul Islam said the field level officials, experts and other organisations concerned have been providing necessary instructions to the farmers to make their upcoming farming a total success.

Most of the growers' harvested better yields of potatoes in the last two to three years.

Last season, over 36.25 lakh tonnes of potatoes were produced from around 1.65 lakh hectares of land in the division making the farmers happy due to its good yield and cherished market price during the current season.