Potato farming in Rajshahi division exceeds target by 2.63%
Published: 01:58 PM, 6 January 2021
Potato farming in Rajshahi division has exceeded the target by 2.63 percent during the current season because of mounting interests among the farmers in general to the vegetable crop farming.
According to the latest official data, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing around 37.58 lakh tonnes of potato from 1.60 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts under the division during the current Rabi season.
DAE Additional Director Sirajul Islam said target has been set to produce 13.61 lakh tonnes of potato from 57,677 hectares of land in four districts under Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 23.98 lakh tonnes from 1.02 lakh hectares in four other districts of Bogura zone.
But, fortunately, the farmers have brought around 1.64 lakh hectares of land consisting 60,721 hectares in Rajshahi zone and 1.03 lakh hectares in Bogura zone taking advantage of the suitable climatic condition and other requisite facilities provided by the government, he added.
Meanwhile, the newly harvested potatoes have been appearing in the local markets abundantly for the last couple of weeks making both the farmers and consumers happy.
“I’m buying newly appeared potatoes every day at Taka 40 per kilogram from vendors,” said Ambia Ferdousi Khanom, a housewife of Boaliapara in Rajshahi city, adding she’s happy over the fresh vegetable.
Ashraf Ali, a farmer of Hatkanpara village under Durgapur Upazila, has cultivated potatoes on 35 bigha of land. He’s happy over his present farming condition. Ali said that many of his co-villagers are getting lucrative market price of the crop at present.
Altab Hossain, 54, another farmer of Mougachhi village under Mohanpur Upazila, has cultivated the crop on around 170 bigha of land in Krishnapur area of Tanore Upazila.
“I had cultivated the cash crop on 110 bigha of land in the same area in the previous season. I had harvested around 8,800 mounds of potato and my profit was around Taka one crore after selling those,” said Hossain. He’s also very much hopeful about this year’s farming.
Like the previous year, Ershad Mondal, another farmer of the same upazila, has brought around 100 bigha of land under potato farming. He said the potato is being sold at around Taka 1,400 to 1,500 per mound in wholesale markets, which is much higher than the previous years.
Many other commercial farmers are seen passing their busy times in nursing their cultivation plots at present for catching the lucrative market price.
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, which is a good sign in terms of lessening the gradually mounting pressure on underground water in the dried barind area.
More than 12.58 lakh community people of 2.66 lakh households are also being motivated and encouraged towards farming of various less-water consuming crops including potato to reduce the pressure on underground water with intervention of the ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’ project.
Simultaneously, commercial potato farming has been expanded to the dried lands in massive ways 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 farming a total success.
Most of the growers’ harvested better yields of potatoes for the last couple of years.
Last season, the farmers harvested more than 36.85 lakh tonnes of potato from around 1.64 lakh hectares of land in the division, Islam added. - BSS