Contract-based seed potato producers of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) yesterday demanded re-fixing of prices of seed potatoes.
Growers from Jamalpur, Sherpur, Nokla, Madhupur and Dhanbari upazilas raised the demand at a press conference on the premises of Jamalpur BADC cold-storage. Block leaders of five zones organised the conference.
They urged the authorities concerned to raise the prices to Tk 24 per kg for 'A' grade and Tk 23 per kg for 'B' grade seed potatoes.
BADC fixed Tk 18 per kg and Tk 17 per kg for 'A' grade and 'B' grade seed potatoes, respectively, this season. As per the rates, the growers will incur losses of Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000 for each acre of 'A' grade production and Tk 25,000 to Tk 30,000 per acre of 'B' grade production as the production cost for both the items is Tk 1.25 lakh to Tk 1.30 lakh per acre, they said.
A total of 2,500 farmers under contract with BADC were involved in cultivating the seed potatoes on 1,700 acres of land in five zones and produced 80,500 tonnes of potatoes by March this year, they said at the press conference.
Eight tonnes of potato were produced on each acre of land from which only five tonnes were selected for storing as seed potatoes while the rest three tonnes were sold in the local markets for Tk 5 per kg, said Shamsul Haque Akanda, a seed potato farmer of Jamalpur Sadar upazila.
“If the declared prices are not revised to Tk 24 per kg for 'A' grade and Tk 23 for 'B' grade, we will incur losses and get frustrated. We will think whether we will continue growing the seeds. So, it is high time the authorities concerned took proper decision in this regard,” the growers said.