Downtrend in potato market price disheartens Rangpur growers

Our Correspondent | Published: March 20, 2018 00:15:24 | Updated: March 20, 2018 10:38:00

Farm labourers harvesting potatoes in Palichara area under Rangpur Sadar — FE Photo

A good yield of potato failed to make the growers of the district delighted for the low market price.

Sources said the potato cultivators of the district made vigorous efforts this season with the hope to earn handsome profit from the sale of the crop but its plummeting price has disheartened them, discouraging them to grow it next season.

The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) Rangpur official sources said around 51,300 hectares of lands were brought under potato cultivation in 8 upazilas of the district this year.

Visiting different areas under the region this correspondent found growers of potato busy harvesting their produce. But they were seen much disappointed owing to falling price of their produce. Many growers who were yet to harvest the crop also expressed their apprehension about huge loss if the present situation continues.

The production cost of potato cultivation has increased this season as farmers had to use pesticides frequently to get rid of fungal diseases like late blight.

Presently, granula variety potato is being sold at Tk 550 per sack (84 Kg) while cardinal variety is sold at Tk 550 to Tk 600 per sack in different markets. Prices of other varieties of potato are also lower, sources added.

Though some big farmers are yet to sell a major portion of their produce but the poor and marginal farmers have no ways but to sell all the harvested crops at throw-away prices, even much below the production cost. In this situation the farmers are failing to recover the production cost of the crop, let alone making any profit, it is alleged.

Hasanur, a farmer of Khansama village at Kawnia upazila told The Financial Express that he cultivated granula variety of potato on one acre of land this season spending more than Tk 40,000. But he earned only Tk 28,000 from the sale of his produce in markets which is much below the production cost.

In this situation the farmers urged the government to take necessary measures immediately so that they can get fair price of their produce.

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