Potato farmers in the district are worried as they cannot recover the production cost due to low price of the vegetable.
Many growers expressed their anxiety about meeting the expenditure for cultivating upcoming crops like Boro.
Now one kg of potato is being sold at Tk 8 to Tk 12 in the retail market and Tk 7 to Tk 10 in the wholesale market, while the growers are selling it at Tk 6 in the field against production cost of Tk 7.
Bidhubhushon Roy, deputy director of Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) in Lalmonirhat, said 5000 hectares of land have been brought under potato cultivation this year while it was 5,385 hectares last year.
Due to loss in potato farming last year, a number of farmers did not cultivate the vegetable this year, he said.
Farmers who worked in their own fields are benefited but those who hired labourers are facing loss, Bidhubhushon said, adding that it is true that if growers do not get their production cost back, they will lose interest in farming potato next year.
Farmer Matilal Barmon, 65, of Haziganj village in Aditmari upazila, said “I thought I would get expected price from selling potatoes this year, but it is same price what was in the last year.”
He incurred loss of Tk 25,000 from potato cultivation on six bighas of land last year, said Matilal.
Surat Ali, 58, of Mandolerhat village in Sadar upazila, said he got 18,000 kg of potato from two acres of land spending Tk 1.23 lakh but he got only Tk 1.8 lakh from selling the produce at Tk 6 per kg in the field.
Ataur Rahman, 55, of Bhatibari village in Sadar, said he spent Tk 1.20 lakh for farming potato on two acres of land, but he is uncertain about recovering his investment due to the low price in the local market.
Mizanur Rahman, a wholesaler in the town's Goshala Bazar kitchen market, said they are buying potatoes from growers at low rate due to huge supply of the item in the local market.