Local potato farmers alleged that a syndicate manipulated the seed markets and created fake crisis to earn extra profit.
Due to seed crisis potato farmers of the district could not cultivate potato yet, said local sources.
According to the sources of Agriculture Extension Department, it requires 90,000 tonnes of potato seeds for cultivation on 62,000 hectares of land in the district while Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) will provide only 15-20 percent of the required seeds, BRAC will provide 15-20 percent and the rest will be provided by other NGOs and local farmers.
Many farmers of district could not preserve potato seeds and they depend on the locally preserved seed and on the dealers for collecting quality seeds. Taking advantage of it, local dealers had increased seed prices, alleged farmers.
Faridur Rahman, deputy-assistant agriculture officer, said: “Potato farmers usually booked potato seeds before the seeding season. Farmers did not get seeds as all farmers of the district had tried to buy seeds at a time.”
He also assured that BADC would supply potato seeds on time.
Potato farmers Sirajul Islam, Mokhlesur Rahman, Shoel, Shahjahan Ali and others from different upazilas in the district told to the Dhaka Tribune that they prepared their lands for potato seeding but could not cultivate seeds due to seed crisis.
Some farmers wishing anonymity alleged that dealers sold potato seeds to different NGOs by taking advance money. Now NGOs are trying to sell the seeds with extra price thus they manipulated the seed market and create fake crisis.
However, Abdur Rahim, additional deputy director of Agriculture Extension Department said: “Local potato seeds grower preserved enough potato seeds at local cold storages. Seeds crisis will be solved very soon.”
But he had said nothing about local syndicates.
Bogra BADC’s deputy director Golam Sarwar told to the Dhaka Tribune that there were 372 potato seed dealers in the district. Government had only supplied 3,100 metric tonnes of seeds while it had been estimated that it would require 8000 metric tonnes this year.