Due to the dearth of cold storage facilities for surplus vegetable preservation, the farmers of Bogura district are being deprived of fair price.
As a result, vegetables– worth Tk 500 million– are being wasted in the fields every season. During the full season of harvesting vegetables, the price remains low compared to production cost.
If the authority concerned takes initiative to set up cold storage in the district, the farmers of Bogura, Naogaon, and Joypurhat would be benefited simultaneously. The farmers are losing interest to grow surplus vegetables in all 12 upazilas of the district as they are not getting government patronage too.
Thousands of tonnes of seasonal vegetables are produced in Bogura both in the winter and summer along with Boro and T-Aman paddy, said farmer Saiful Islam under Shibganj upazila. Meeting local demand of the district they send their products to all over the country, he added.
When the production is high, the price falls in the market and the farmers are in extreme distress. Although there are at least 30 cold storages in the district for storing potatoes, none are available for vegetables.
Farmers have demanded setting up separate cold storage for storing vegetables. The leader of the cold storage owners’ association said that the construction would be done with the help of the government.
Due to prolonged corona panic across the world, vegetable growers of northern districts are incurring huge losses. They can’t sell their produced perishable items in the wholesale markets due to the absence of customers. The consumers are getting worried over covid-19 panic whenever they go out to purchase necessary goods.
Farmer Samsul Islam under sadar upazila said that he has brought around 0.23 hectares of land under Barshaly chilly cultivation in this season spending TK 19,000 and expecting to harvest in the first week of July.
Sub-assistant agriculture officer Faridur Rahman urged the farmers in the region including the vast Barind tract to bring more land under Khorip vegetable cultivation. He also said the farmers have been provided with the quality seed provided by Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC).
The Department of Agricultural Extension official said it would cooperate if any initiative is taken in this regard. The vegetables are being cultivated on about 20,000 hectares of land every year. It produces about 261,000 tonnes of vegetables.