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Potato price hike hits consumers hard

FE Report | July 03, 2019 00:00:00

The price of potato increased in the capital raising sufferings of the consumers, especially the commoners, who have already been hit hard by price hike of other essentials.

Stored potatoes of granola and diamond varieties, which are sold across the year, were traded at Tk 22-25 a kilogram at retail markets in the city on Tuesday while carriage and local (deshi red) varieties were sold at Tk 30-35 a kg - Tk 4.0-5.0 hike at per kg.

The state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) market review showed prices of the yellow root tuber increased by 20-25 per cent in the last one week.

The Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) has monitored a 8.0-10 per cent hike in potato prices by cold-storage owners in Munshiganj, Bogura, Rangpur and Rajshahi hubs in the last one-and-a-half weeks.

Stored potatoes were selling at Tk 14-16 a kg at cold-storage gates, DAM said.

The price has been raised after a harvesting season when the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) was expecting an increase in production as a good weather had persisted in the December-April period.

A total of 0.5 million hectares of land was brought under potato farming this year, said DAE's horticulture wing Director Chandi Das Kundu.

Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) Secretary Humayun Kabir Bhuiyan said the consumers are feeling the heat of the kitchen markets as most of the items of day-to-day necessecities, including fish (both cultured and traditional), meat, egg and vegetables, prices increased significantly.

He mentioned that potato is an essential item which is consumed most after rice and wheat.

Hike in prices of the item will further augment sufferings of the limited-income segment of the society, he said.

He suggested that government monitoring should be increased to prevent any artificial price hike of essential.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the country grows 10.5 million tonnes of the carbohydrate-rich crop annually.

The demand for potatoes is 7.2-7.5 million tonnes per year, according to the directorate general of food.

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