May 11, 2021, 2:11 am
Shameem Reza Dafrul, Gobindganj (Gaibandha): Initiatives have been taken to export fresh varieties of sweet potatoes from Gobindaganj in Gaibandha to Japan. To this end, new varieties of exportable sweet potatoes have been cultivated in the char lands under the supervision of the Upazila Agriculture Extension Department. This sweet potato has the potential to earn foreign exchange by exporting potatoes to Japan.
Karatoya of Gobindganj. Farmers have been cultivating sweet potatoes for a long time in various areas of Rakhalburuj, Harirampur, Talukkanupur, Mahimaganj and char alluvial sandy lands on the banks of Katakhali and Bangali rivers. However, for the first time, the farmers have cultivated a new variety of Japanese Koki-14 Geo sweet potato that can be exported abroad. The yield of this new variety of sweet potato is much higher than that of the local varieties, it is large in size, quite tasty to eat and also interesting to look at as it is red in color.
Bipul Mia of Sonaidanga village across Rakhalburuj Union said it takes the same amount of time to cultivate the new Koki-14 Geo variety of sweet potato as the native variety. The yield of this potato bigha is 60 to 65 manas – the price is also good. Abdul Aziz of the same area said that the Upazila Agriculture Department has been cooperating all the time from the cultivation of this new variety of sweet potato to its marketing and there is no problem. I have made a good profit from the sale.
Mejaul Islam, manager of Naruto Japan Company Limited, an NGO, said that farmers in Japan have been given overall support to cultivate this variety of sweet potato. Farmers are being contacted all the time through the Upazila Agriculture Department using the correct methods and techniques to make the produced sweet potatoes exportable abroad. These exportable sweet potatoes are being purchased from farmers at a price of Rs 400 to Rs 500 per quintal.
Gobindaganj Upazila Agriculture Officer Khaledur Rahman said the agriculture department is working at the farmer level to expand the cultivation of this new variety of sweet potato. This year sweet potato has been cultivated in 75 hectares of land in this upazila. Farmers are getting more than 20 metric tons of sweet potato per hectare. Officially, this is the first time under the Kandal Crop Development Project that a new Japanese Koki-14 Geo variety of sweet potato has been cultivated on 9 acres of land and exported to Japan. On the one hand, there is the possibility of earning foreign exchange on the other hand, as farmers benefit.