Potato in Dhaka markets has turned 41 percent pricier in a month as a large portion of the tuber was kept in cold storages leaving supplies tight.
Each kilogramme was going for Tk 20-24 yesterday, up from Tk 15-16 a month ago, according to the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. A week ago the price was Tk 18-22.
“A large amount of potatoes has been kept in cold storages. As a result, supply has fallen,” said greengrocer Emon of Shankar, Dhanmondi. Bangladesh Cold Storage Association estimates that production dropped to 80-85 lakh tonnes this year from, what the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) says, 1.02 crore tonnes last year, as low price-induced losses prompted farmers to shift to other crops.
Of the production, nearly 40 lakh tonnes went to cold storages, said Qamrul Hussain Chowdhury Gorkey, the association's first vice president. Reasoning this for a scarcity in the market, he said prices went up for the recent rains.
“It appears that demand for potato has risen as a section of consumers are buying more of it for prices of other vegetables have increased,” he said, adding, “The recent rainfall has affected various vegetables in the fields.”
Farmers grew potato on 4.92 lakh hectares during the 2017-18 production year, according to the Department of Agricultural Extension. Acreage was 1.4 percent less than the 4.99 lakh hectares of fiscal 2016-17, shows the BBS data.