The Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is one of the main
important food crop in Bangladesh and around 40 countries it considered as a
staple food (Islam, 1987) as well as cash crop. Bangladesh is now one of the
big potato producing country in the world and within a few years will also be
big exporting country (MEGA Group-2016).
According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in
2013, Bangladesh ranked seventh in potato production where China, India,
Russia, Ukraine, USA and Germany were ahead. The Bangladesh ecology and soil
conditions are more feasible for cultivating the potato especially in
Munshiganj, Rangpur, Bogra, Joypurhat, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, Rajshahi and Jessore
region. Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), BADC, BARI, NGOs and
different inputs Companies are supported to farmers to cultivate the potato. Different
varieties of potatoes are grown in Bangladesh and these differ in tuber structure,
size and color, time of maturity, market demand, people choice, yield and
resistance to pests. Broadly two categorized potato varieties are cultivated in
Bangladesh include local and high yielding. The familiar of local varieties are
Lal Pakri, Sheel Bilatee, Bilatee and
Surjamukhi. On the other hand several
dozens of high yielding varieties (HYV) of potato are cultivated in the
countries which familiar are Cardinal, Diamont,  Granular, Kufrisundhuri, Patronis, Kumbica, Lora
etc. Recently some processed varieties have started the cultivation in Bangladesh
such as Lady Rosetta, Atlas, Asterix, Courage and Atlantic for manufacturing
the French fires, chips, crackers, flakes and starch which contain 22-25% dry matter.
Three way potato seeds are managed for meet country need, 1st  is farmers preserve potato for next year
plantation and 2nd is Bangladesh Agricultural Development
Corporation (BADC) and 3rd is different companies produce the new
seeds for farmers.  Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) is produced new potato seeds through
research and it provides to BADC and they produce high volume. The farmers are
aware the potato cultivation and gets good yield but sometime they face the
different problems. The Department Agricultural Extension (DAE), company and
some NGO provide training and give technical advice to the farmers for it
production. Potato is a short time crops and both male and female are involved
to cultivate and post-harvest management and they enjoy in whole cultivation period.
The potato production trend in Bangladesh are given below in table-1 respectively. 

 

Table-1: Potato
production trend respectively in Bangladesh.

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Years

1980

2000

2010

2013

2014

2015

2016

Yield Kg

917120

2933000

7930000

8603000

8950000

9200000

10400000

Source

FAOSTAT
2005

Financial Express ’15

The Daily Sun 2017

 

The data indicates that the country potato
production trend is increasing and the year 2015 the total production is 9.2 and
year 2016 is 10.4 million tones. The potato preservation capacity of the
existing 400 cold storage is 5 million tones (bdnews24.com. 10 February 2014) which 50% of
national production. Bangladesh farmers get benefit in
maximum years by cultivating the potato then other crops.

 

In Bangladesh, potato is
primarily used as a vegetable, although in many countries of the world it is
used as a staple food and contributes more than 90% of the carbohydrate food
source (Akter,
1973). Although the principal use for potato in
Bangladesh is to make potato curry along with fish, meat, and eggs and potato-based
food items are potato mash, fried potato, potato chop, potato vegetable mix,
potato singara, potato chips,
French fry etc. In recent years, bakeries and fast food shops have started
preparing a variety of potato-based delicacies food so there are diversity in
the consumption of potato. Per capita consumption is 23 kg in Bangladesh
and 32 kg in China and 15 kg in India (Reardon et al., 2012). In Asia, potatoes
are mainly consumed as a vegetable including Bangladesh and in Europe millions tones of potatoes are processed annually
into starch, alcohol, potato meal, flour, dextrose, potato chips, French fries and
other products. So Asia and Europe potato food consumption different.  According to the Directorate General of Food (DGoF), annual country demand
for potato is 6.5-7 million tons (The Daily Star, 8 Mar 2015) on the contrary
annual production is 10.4 million tones so 3.4
million tones potato surplus in the country.

 

Day by
day increasing the potato production as well as farmers interest and also
increasing the areas of lands which up to 4.5 lac hector (AMIS-2016). Total
land size and surplus potato are increasing so good export potential
of Bangladeshi’s potato in international market.  Two
categories of potato are international market demand, one as table potato which
varieties are Granular, Atlas, Kumbica, Lora and another as processing potato
for making the chips, starch, snacks, flakes which varieties are Asterix,
Courage Lady Rosetta, Atlas and Atlantic. In respect of quality, taste and price, Bangladesh origin potatoes are
good competitive compare to other Asia country’s potato. Many countries of the
world are attracted to buy of those potato from Bangladesh. The main importing
countries are Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Vietnam,
Philippine and Russia. Similarly, other importing countries are also interested
to import the potato from Bangladesh. The potato exporting status are given in
Table-2.

 

Table-2: Potato exporting trend from Bangladesh
to international market.

Years

2009-10

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2015-16

Yield (tons)

9687

39539

18862

28416,

53982

70000

Source: DAE-2015

 

 

 

 

Daily Sun 2017

 

The potato export trend is increasing year to
year. In
Bangladesh, exports crossed the 70000 tons for the first time in the fiscal 2015-16,
rising threefold from only 53982 tons in the previous year, according to the
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE). Earning also trebled to $33.82 million
in 2015-2016 compared to the previous year (EPB). This is a milestone. We want
to perform better in the days to come. Currently exporters get 20 percent cash an incentive from government. Many private sector export companies in
Bangladesh are Agriconcern Limited, PRAN, BRAC, MEGA group, Kafela
group, Kisan Botanix Agro Ltd, Ahian Impex Ltd. AgroKagri Commodities Ltd  have
been exporting the potato in international market. All companies are properly
maintained the country policy for exporting the potato. At present, Bangladesh
has surplus the potato and also exist the interested export companies and also
government encourage to export the potato by providing incentive so bright export
potentiality of Bangladeshi’s potato. Due to some existing barriers and
constraints, potato exporting status are not significant so our farmers are not
benefitted up to the mark. The Bangladesh government, private sector export
company, shipping agency and other relevant audience if meet the barriers and
constraints so Bangladesh becomes the big potato exporting country in the world.

 

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