The first time in a while, Bangladesh has seen significant potatoes being imported during the harvest season. More than 60 importers were allowed by the government to bring in 94,000 tons of potatoes, mainly from India. The first shipment has come in and have been a success on the marketplace, the prices have dropped by about the amount of Tk10-15 per gram in Dinajpur district. This is because the potatoes were imported through Hili port. Hili port. However, the prices remain more than 110% over similar times last year. With more cargo arriving and prices rise, they are likely to drop to a lesser extent.
This move will bring stability to the market of potatoes in advance of Ramadan however, there are still questions concerning the shrewd decision of the government. There is no explanation so has been the damage done to the potato crop at Rangpur and Rajshahi due to cyclonic storms that occurred during the months of October and November. It is not clear what impact this could have on the total production, and if there is a shortage. The ministry of agriculture has set an aim to produce 11.6 million tons of potato over 4.6 million acres of land as well as the nation’s demand of 10 million tons.
In the last year, Bangladesh produced 10.4 million tonnes, which was more than the need, causing doubts regarding the necessity of the recently imported goods. It is the Bangladesh Cold Storage Association (BCSA) states that the production actually was 9.0 million tonnes. Government’s move to prevent a crisis could only succeed only if it’s supported with a strict market surveillance and oversight.
[ Tk100 = EUR0.85 ]
Source: The Plantations International Agroforestry Group of Companies