Bara produces potatoes worth Rs. 4.73 billion

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By Our Correspondent,Bara, June 12: Potatoes worth Rs. 4.73 billion have been produced in Bara district in the current fiscal year 2023/24.

Raj Narayan Prasad Sah, Chief of Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Bara, said about 118,296 tonnes of potatoes worth Rs. 4.73 billion had been produced in the district this year.

He said that farmers cultivated potatoes of different varieties in an area of 7,440 hectares and produced a total of 118,296 tonnes of potatoes at the rate of 15.9 tonnes per hectare.

Farmers are more attracted towards sugarcane farming and fish farming business, which are more profitable with less investment, but they are shifting towards potato farming as they do not get money in time in the sale of sugarcane.  Ram Jiban Thakur, information officer and agricultural extension officer of Agriculture Knowledge Centre, said that the traders purchased potatoes at Rs. 17 per kilogam from the farmer’s filed this year and stored the potatoes.

However, traders have been selling stored potatoes ranging from Rs. 40-Rs. 50 per kg for the past two months, he said. He said that at the rate of Rs. 40 per kg, potatoes were produced in Bara district worth Rs. 4.73 billion this year. 

Last year 2022/23, a total of 121,062 tonnes of potatoes were produced from an area of 7,450 hectares. The productivity stood at 16.5 tonnes per hectare last year.

Thakur said that due to the lack of rain during potato cultivation, there has been some reduction in potato production this year as compared to last year.

Around 20-25 per cent of potatoes produced in the district were consumed in local places including Kalaiya market and the rest of the potatoes were bought by traders from Birgunj, Hetauda, Chitwan, Pokhara and Kathmandu.

Mishiri Lal Prasad Yadav of Prasauni Rural Municipality-7, Banjaria, said that potato farming was now proven to be a profitable cash crop with less effort than other crops. He said that he had been making good income from the potatoes by cultivating in around 2-2.5 bighas of land every year.

Another farmer Laxmi Mahato said that there was still obligation to sell potatoes at a price less than half the purchase price of potato seeds. Mahato said that they sold potatoes at Rs. 1,800 per quintal this year while they had purchased potato seeds at Rs. 3,500 per quintal.

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