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Potatoes worth Tk. 500 crore on fallow land in Tanore, Rajshahi

Potatoes worth Tk. 500 crore on fallow land in Tanore, Rajshahi
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At one time the land of Tanore in Rajshahi was a single crop. It used to fall during the potato season. Some potato growers from outside started cultivating potatoes in that fallow land. He would have been happy to pick up the potatoes and give a sack of potatoes to the land owner. That was in 1995. The local farmers also started cultivating potatoes. In the 2013-14 season, potatoes were cultivated in 5,020 hectares of land in Tanore upazila, but a revolution took place in the last five years. The upazila ranks second in the country in potato production. Now the owner of the land is not satisfied with another bag. He is asking for 8-10 thousand Tk for one bigha of land only in the potato season. Potatoes worth around Tk 500 crore are being sold at field prices during the season.

Not only that, the yield of potato is higher in Tanore soil than in other parts of the country. This potato is also the best in the country in terms of quality. For this, a 65 kg sack of potatoes in this area can be sold for more than 100 to 200 Tk. Such is the demand of the potato farmers of Tanore. 40 percent of the total potatoes in Rajshahi district are grown in Tanore. For this, a total of 37 cold storages have been set up in this upazila and its adjoining upazilas. Their capacity is 4 lakh 63 thousand 888 metric tons. Potato cultivation and cold storage have created employment for a large number of people. About 80 percent of these potato growers are from outside the upazila.

Abdur Razzak, a fertilizer trader from Baya area of ​​Paba upazila of Rajshahi, is one of the early farmers of Tanore upazila. In 1995, he gave the remaining fertilizer worth Tk 30,000 to a potato farmer in Bhugaril area of ​​Paba upazila. The farmer started cultivating potatoes on the free land of Tanore. But when he could not pay the remaining amount of fertilizer, he left half of the 30 bighas of potatoes in Tanore to Abdur Razzak. Abdur Razzak got his first taste of potato cultivation by selling potatoes from that land. The following year he started cultivating potatoes in those fallow lands of Tanore. After two years of getting free land, he cultivates potatoes in about 300 bighas of land. He took a loan of Tk 90 lakh from a bank to cover the cost of cultivating this potato. The price of potatoes fell that year. The house went up for auction due to debt. However, he did not give up potato cultivation. He has made up for that loss in the next five years. This time he has cultivated potatoes in 350 bighas of land.

Abdur Razzak, a fertilizer trader from Baya area of ​​Paba upazila of Rajshahi, is one of the early farmers of Tanore upazila. In 1995, he gave the remaining fertilizer worth Tk 30,000 to a potato farmer in Bhugaril area of ​​Paba upazila. The farmer started cultivating potatoes on the free land of Tanore. But when he could not pay the remaining amount of fertilizer, he left half of the 30 bighas of potatoes in Tanore to Abdur Razzak. Abdur Razzak got his first taste of potato cultivation by selling potatoes from that land. The following year he started cultivating potatoes in those fallow lands of Tanore. After two years of getting free land, he cultivates potatoes in about 300 bighas of land. He took a loan of Rs 90 lakh from a bank to cover the cost of cultivating this potato. The price of potatoes fell that year. The house went up for auction due to debt. However, he did not give up potato cultivation. He has made up for that loss in the next five years. This time he has cultivated potatoes in 350 bighas of land.

Abdur Razzak said free land is no longer available. The owner has to pay Tk 8,000 to Tk 10,000 for just one bigha of land during the potato season. He said potato yield is higher in Tanore soil than other upazilas of the district. And farmers have learned to care for potatoes. The quality of potatoes is better than any other part of the country. For this, they can sell in sacks at a higher price of 100 to 200 Tk. Abdur Razzak said that he learned to produce potato seeds in tissue culture method from Dr. Mohammad Manzur Hossain, Professor, Department of Botany, Rajshahi University and now he makes his own seeds.

Kazi Rashidul Islam, a potato farmer from Mohanpur, has cultivated potatoes on 300 bighas of land in Tanore this time. He trades in potato seeds in addition to potato cultivation. This time he got 300 tons of seeds. He has taken 100 tons of his own land. He also trades in potato sacks. According to him, Rajshahi district needs 1 crore 30 to 40 lakh sacks.

A few days ago, a large potato field was seen in Kaliganj Hat, Kasardighi, Saranjay, Tantihati areas of Tanore. Abdul Awal, accountant of Mundumala municipality in Tanore, said the people of Tanore had sold a lot of land to the people of Chapainawabganj at one time for water as it was a rainfed crop. Now potatoes are being cultivated in those lands. Outsiders are cultivating potatoes on lease. I saw that he has cultivated potatoes with 85 bighas of land this time.

Source: Online/SZK

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