Abdul Awal Thakurgaon Correspondent: Potatoes are being sold at Tk 6 per kg. Yet there are no buyers in the field. The farmers of Thakurgaon are in trouble with the produced potatoes. They were inclined to cultivate early potatoes in the hope of making a profit as they made a profit by selling early potatoes at a higher price last year. But they are losing money due to the collapse of the potato market in advance. Last year, farmers sold potatoes at Rs 25-30 per kg in the field at this time and this time the potatoes are being sold at only Rs 6 per kg.
According to the Department of Agricultural Extension, potato has been cultivated in 26,748 hectares of land in five upazilas of the district this time. Potatoes have already been harvested from 2,060 hectares of land. Potato production is estimated at 24 metric tons per hectare. By selling potatoes at the current market price, farmers are getting a price of 90-100 thousand rupees per hectare (246 percent). And the production cost of potato per hectare is about two lakh rupees. Last year, potato was cultivated in 26,515 hectares of land in the district. The production was 6 lakh 41 thousand 298 metric tons. The Department of Agriculture says the market price is low due to stockpiling of some potatoes last year. The price may go up a bit when the old potatoes are gone.
At present in the potato field white potatoes of Granola variety and red potatoes of Asterix variety are available. The price of red potato is a bit higher as the demand for red potato is high in the local market. As the white potato market is in other districts including the capital, the farmers get the price depending on the demand of other districts. At present, white potatoes are being sold at Tk 8 and red potatoes at Tk 10-11.
Agriculture officials said that the soil of Thakurgaon is quite suitable for potato cultivation. After Munshiganj, Thakurgaon is located in potato cultivation. As such, Thakurgaon ranks second in potato production in the country. Potato cultivation is increasing in this district every year. Potatoes are supplied to other districts to meet the local demand. Normally, if you plant potatoes in the ground once, you can get the yield once, but this time the picture was different. Farmers are planting potatoes twice and getting yield only once. That is why the cost of production has increased for the farmers. Moreover, the farmers are at a loss due to poor market conditions. It rains a few days after planting the potatoes in advance, so the planted potatoes rot in the field. Farmers planted potatoes in that land again in the hope of profit.
Sohag Ali, a potato farmer in Fakdanpur area of Sadar upazila, said, This time there is also loss in higher yield. Profit is a distant thing, I can't even make the real one. Selling potatoes at low prices is causing huge losses. Even after that there is no buyer of cash. '
Mojharul Islam, another potato farmer from Patua area of Sadar upazila, said, "I cultivated potatoes on 4 and a half acres of land. The cost is about 4 lakh rupees. I am getting 2 lakh rupees by selling potatoes at 6 rupees. This money is not profit, real money does not come. By cultivating potatoes, I fell into more debt. '
Alauddin, a potato farmer in Vanor area of Baliadangi upazila, said, "After planting potatoes in 2 acres of land for the first time, the seed potatoes rot in the soil due to rains." He planted potatoes in that land again. Potato yield has been good. Traders say 6 rupees per kg, did not sell. Because if you sell at this price, you will lose a lot of money. '
Alam, a potato trader from Thakurgaon Road area, said, "At present, the demand is a bit low as potatoes from different districts come to the market simultaneously." I can't get any order from the capital's warehouse. That is why there is no price in the market. Many potatoes have been bought at higher prices, but I have not been able to sell them due to falling prices. '
Abu Hossain, Deputy Director, Department of Agricultural Extension, Thakurgaon, said, "The market situation will improve after the end of last year's surplus of potatoes." At the same time, if the yield of potatoes is good, the losses of the farmers will be compensated. '
He said if potatoes produced in one country could be exported to other countries, the economy of the country would change and the fate of farmers would change. There will also be arrangements for the work of the unemployed. '