Price fall renders potato growers helpless

Potato cultivators and traders in 8 districts of Rangpur division are in a dilemma as they are about to lose their investments despite a bumper production of their produce last season.

In the hope of earning better profits, farmers and traders stored potato in cold storages, but the sharp fall in prices has shattered their hope.

Most of the storage owners served notice on farmers and traders through local dailies and loudspeakers to take out their stock within October 15. The storage owners also warned that they would realise outstanding charges from the traders in case of missing the deadline.

The farmers and traders who stored their potato in the cold storage are not taking out their stock now in fear of loss.

Yasin Ali, a potato grower and a trader of Rangpur Sadar told the FE that he has spent Tk 1100, including purchasing, storage and other costs, on a sack of potato. He said he has to face a loss of Tk 400 to 450 per sack as its current market price is Tk 500-650 per sack, adding that he has preserved 25,000 sacks of potato, purchasing each sack for Tk 800-900.

According to sources, there are about Tk 0.5 million metric tonnes of potato in different cold storages of the 8 northern districts of Rangpur division.

President of Rangpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mosaddek Hossain Bablu said potato farming in the north has become lucrative over the past few years. It has created trade and job opportunities in the rural areas of the districts. The farmers will lose interest in growing potato if they are not protected from the adverse circumstances.

News Source: 
The Financial Express