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5 December, 2018 10:40:10 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 5 December, 2018 10:41:09 AM

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Farmers worried about paucity

quality potato seeds
Our correspondent, Nilphamari
Farmers worried about paucity
File Photo

Potato farmers in five northern districts under Rangpur division are worried about the shortage of quality seeds supplied by the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC).

Sub-assistant agriculture officer of the Department of Agriculture Extension (Rangpur), Md Rafiqul Islam, said they planned to grow potato on 92,000 hectares of land this year in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhaat and Nilphamari districts. About 1.38 lakh tonnes of seeds are needed for this purpose, he added.

Farmers prefer the seeds supplied by the BADC as their seeds are scientifically preserved, he noted.

Yahia Abid, secretary to the Nilphamari unit Krishak League, said: “We’ve supplied 4,673 tonnes of potato seeds to the five districts against the total demand of 1.38 lakh tonnes.”

When this correspondent asked the deputy director how the farmers will get the rest of the quality seeds, he said most of the farmers preserved the seeds in the cold storage or in their houses, while others buy from NGOs or companies  like BRAC, CINJENTA, ACI, AQUARE, and ISPAHANI.

“We sell 25 per cent of seeds from our office directly to the farmers and the rest through the region’s 751 recommended dealers. The price of A-grade seeds is Tk. 30 per kg and that of the B-grade variety is Tk. 28,” he added.

Many farmers alleged that the dealers created an artificial crisis of the BADC seeds by forming syndicates to realise higher prices from them.

"Farms get seed certification tags from our office, but no NGO or company has come to us to get official tag," said Nilphamari seed certification officer Md Abul Ala Moudidi.

While visiting the seed markets in Tengarmari haat located in the Nilphamari district and the Sonahaar haat in Panchagorh district, this correspondent found that low-quality potato seeds were being sold for TK. 2,000–2,400 depending on the size, variety, and demand.

Mostafafizur Rahman, a farmer from Pachpir village under Boda upazila of Panchagorh district, said they had no other option but to purchase low-quality seeds as the good-quality BADC seeds were scarce.

Md Shah Alam, the regional DAF additional director, said: “Despite the shortage of seeds, farmers get the maximum yield as they work hard. Our field officers give them right tips.”

BK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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