BOGURA, Dec 05: Farmers of the district are worried over the shortage of quality potato seeds.
Officials at the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers in the district need over 500 tonnes of seed this season to grow the item on 67,000 hectares of land.
"We were able to provide 120 tonnes of seed only", they added.
Each kg of good quality potato seeds is being sold at Tk 60 to Tk 65 in the market.
It is hard for the grassroots growers to purchase the potato seeds, DAE officials added.
Deputy Director of the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) said BADC is trying their level best to meet the present demand of potato seeds.
"We expect to solve the problem within a short period of time", he added.
Hamudul Islam of Shibganj upazila said, "I prefer BADC produced seeds as they cultivate and preserve those seeds in a scientific way. The seeds are high yielding as well as virus and fungus free.
In a recent visit in a kitchen market of the district this correspondent found each maund of low quality seed is being sold at Tk 1,800 to Tk 2,000. Virus and fungus-affected potato seeds have flooded the market.
Many farmers alleged that dealers created an artificial crisis of BADC seeds by forming syndicates.
Meanwhile, our roving correspondent from Sirajganj adds: Potato planting machine is gaining popularity among the farmers in the district as it saves both money and time.
A farmer spends only Tk 600 to sow potato seeds in a bigha of land with a machine.
The cost will be over Tk 2,000 to Tk 2,200 if day labours do the same thing, said farmer Milon Hossain under Gabtoly upazila.
Moreover, the machine saves minimum five to six hours to sow seeds in a bigha of land, he added.
The Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institution Farm Machinery (BARIFM) manufactured the machine.
"Potato farmers had to spend a large amount of money during the seed planting season. Now the cultivators are getting benefit from the machine", said Jahangir Alam of Royganj upazila.
Chief engineer of Kandal Crop Research Dr Zulfiker Hyder said, "We are trying to bring the potato field in the district under modern technology. The farmers are also showing interest to use the machine."
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