Md. Mozammel Hossain: The potato seeds of Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) has no demand to the farmers of the district this season.
Many dealers did not collect potato seeds from the coldstorage this year as they’ll have to count loss if they collect; so most of the potato seeds are kept unsold.
Meanwhile, to halt dealership, BADC authority served notices to the dealers who did not collect potato seeds.
The BADC officials said the farmers were provided with dealership licence to collect seeds. If they do not collect potato, there is no meaning of giving them licence.
Munshiganj is the branding district of producing potato. But the farmers and traders of the district did not get the fair price last year. They are interested in getting the “Box Potato” imported from the Holland. They kept potatos to the coldstorage as seeds after production. As a result, the demand of BADC potato seeds has decreased.
The price of the box potato has also discreased this year as its demand also shrank.
There are 194 dealers in six upazilas of the district. BADC allocated five tonnes of potato seeds for each dealer. Fifty dealers did not collect seeds as there is no demand. BADC has been taking Tk 23 for Grade A and Tk 22 for Grade B from the dealers.The dealers have to spend Tk 1,050 for a sack weighing 40 kg. But a sack is being sold at Tk 300-400 in the market.
On the other hand, the buying cost of 50 kg Holland potato seeds is Tk 5,100 to Tk 5,200, and it is being sold at Tk 2, 500 to 2,700.
Vice-President of District BADC Seed Dealers’ Welfare Association Jasimuddin Dewan said, “I had to count huge loss for the BADC seed for the last couple of years, so I did not collect seeds this year”.
General Secretary of the association Ahmed Ullah said “We requested the authority concerned to fix the price of the potato seeds under Tk 15, but the price has been fixed at Tk 23-24. Few dealers collected the seeds but could not sell those at the buying rate. BADC Dhaka Zone Deputy Director AKM Yousuf Harun served notices to halt licences of the dealers who did not buy seeds. So we requested him to solve the matter after visiting markets”.
President of the association Mobarak Ali Dewan said the farmers cannot bring the potato seeds to market as the carrying cost is Tk 950 each sack. But a sack is being sold at Tk 250-300. The famers are sowing the seed of Daimond Box Potato which they preserved last year. So the farmers are not interested in buying the BADC potato seeds.
BADC Deputy Director Dr. Mohammad Ibrahim Khalil said the famers are not interested in BADC potato seeds; it is a matter of research that why they want box potato seeds imported from the Holland instead of BADC seeds.
Meanwhile, local Agriculture Department and BADC office sources said the demand of potato seeds in the district is 77,000 metric tons. The farmers preserved 50,000 metric tons for seeds in the coldstorage. There are 574 metric tons are in BADC coldstorage. Among these, 181 metric ton seeds are in unsold condition.