According to sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension in Nilphamari, a target of cultivating potatoes on 20,855 hectares has been set for this year, while a total of 13,340 hectares of lands have been utilized so far.
Farmers in six upazilas of Nilphamari are making profits cultivating early-season potatoes amid the growing demand for fresh potatoes in the market.
Peyarul Islam, a potato cultivator in Dakshin Deshibai village of Jaldhaka upazila, said: "We are having bumper potato yields this year as the weather has not yet turned extremely cold. Moreover, the demand for fresh potatoes is very high in the market."
Another farmer from the same area, Abdus Samad, said: " I have cultivated the 'granola' variety of potatoes on 2.10 bigha of land. The farming cost me around Tk22,000 per bigha, while I reaped around 30 maunds of potatoes. I have sold the potatoes at Tk2,000 per maund, and earned Tk60,000 after two months of farming."
According to sources at the Department of Agriculture Extension in Nilphamari, a target of cultivating potatoes on 20,855 hectares has been set for this year, while a total of 13,340 hectares of lands have been utilized so far. Meanwhile, some farmers have already started to collect their harvest from the fields.
Md Kamrul Hasan, Sadar upazila agriculture officer, said: "Potatoes were cultivated on 22,812 hectares of land last year, which exceeded the target of 21,850 hectares. We achieved an average production of 23.53 metric tons earlier. Hopefully, this year's production will surpass the target as well.
“The potato farming is very important to farmers in the area because many of them had incurred losses after cultivating paddy this season. Now they are busy in potato farming, in hopes that income made from this produce will compensate the loss they incurred earlier,” he added.
Azad Ali, a farmer from Chowdhurypara area of Sadar upazila, said: "I have cultivated potatoes on 1 bigha of land and have already reaped the harvest. After selling at Tk55 per kg at local market, I have made a profit of Tk44,000, in spite of my costs."
Nikhil Chandra Biswas, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Nilphamari, said: "Farmers are achieving a robust potato yield this year due to the favourable weather. It is fetching them good profits as the prices of fresh potatoes are much higher than that of old varieties."
Agriculture officers are working closely with farmers at the field level, in order to help them prevent various diseases of potatoes, he added.