A huge quantity of potatoes stored at 'Aman Cold Storage Limited' at Madanhati area under Paba upazila is found rotten. Several hundred farmers and traders had stored those potatoes in cold storage last month.
According to the authorities of the cold storage, there are 166,000 sacks of potatoes in the cold storages. Each sack contains 50 kgs of potatoes amounting Tk 600. If all the potatoes are destroyed, the total amount of loss of the farmers and traders would stand at Tk 99.6 million. Potato traders and farmers claimed all the stored potatoes have been rotten and are unfit for consumption.
On Wednesday morning, workers at the cold storages were seen to carry sackful of rotten potatoes from inside the cold storages and to dry those in the air. Hearing about the damage of stored potatoes, farmers staged a sit-in demonstration in front of the cold storages. Later, the authorities of the cold storages assured the agitated farmers to compensate within next 1o-day when the farmers withdrew the sit-in.
Potato farmers and traders complained, all the sackfuls of potatoes have been rotten. They alleged, potatoes have been loaded inside the cold storages even after a faulty gas machine of the storages. As a result, the gas machine failed to keep the stored potatoes cool and fresh. As a result, all the potatoes were destroyed and turned unfit for sale and consumption.
Potato trader Kamrul Hasan said he stored 7,000 sacks of potato in the cold storages and all his potatoes have been rotten. He added he would incur a huge loss unless he is repaid compensation by the cold storage authorities.
It is learnt, potato farmers and traders stored their potatoes in cold storages from March to November at a rent of Tk 200 to 250 per sack.
Vegetable trader Rana Sardar said last year he kept potatoes in the same cold storages.
The quality of the stored potatoes was not good and many of those were destroyed. As a result, he stored the potato in another cold storage.
Faruk Hossain, Manager of Aman Cold storage informed, potato can be rotten for various reasons. If low-quality potatoes are stored in the cold storage, those can be rotten.
But, he was not sure why the potatoes in the cold storage were rotten and how many of those had been rotten. He also said that he would consult with the owner of the cold storage and would decide how to compensate the affected farmers and the traders.