Dhaka division, Bangladesh

Nilphamari growers are pinning their hopes on early potato variety

Potato growers in Bangladesh’ Kishoreganj district are now very busy cultivating highly profitable early variety potatoes, which are ready for harvest 30 per cent faster than other varieties and normally fetch higher prices. This potato variety can be harvested in 60 days after sowing seeds, much lower than the 90 days needed by other varieties.

"This potato variety, despite being highly priced, is very popular among buyers because of its early availability and taste," said Habibur Rahman, the districts agriculture officer.

During visits to different potato producing villages, including Panialpukur, Durakuti, Nitai and Kalikapur, a correspondent from thedailystar.net found that farmers and labourers are sowing the seeds already. Traditional potatoes are usually sown in December and harvested in March. Normally, the early variety potato seeds are sown in September but this year, floods have delayed the process by a month.

However, farmers believe that the delay will not be able to leave an impact on yield as they are taking extra care of the fields.

"This short-duration potato variety is helping us make double profits. We can now cultivate potato twice on same land in a season," said one farmer. "At first we sow early potato in September-October and then we go for production with the traditional variety in mid-December.

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