The government has allowed a number of private companies for importing High Yielding Variety (HYV) of potato seeds aimed at increasing production of potato in the next season.
The companies will import the HYV potato including diamont, provento, vanila, felsina, mondial, asterix, courag, ultra and granula from Holland and Germany during the month of November and distribute among the farmers at a reasonable price, Anwar Faruque, director general (seed wing), ministry of agriculture, told BSS on Thursday.
The National Seed Board during its 68th meeting held in agriculture ministry with secretary CQK Moshtak Ahmed in the chair gave permission to import potato seeds last week.
Sources said the country needs about six lakh metric tons of potato seeds every year for sowing in 5.20 lakh hectares of land to produce about 80 lakh lakh tons crop.
The companies will import only 6,500 metric tons of potato seeds and the locally produced seeds will meet the rest of the demand, the sources added.
Chairman of AR Malik & Company, the importer of diamont, a highly demanded variety especially to the farmers of Munshiganj, Atiar Rahman Malik told BSS that his firm would import about 5,000 tons of seeds from Holland.
All the imported seeds will be handed over to the distributors from Chittagong Port and none would be allowed to hoard seeds for creating artificial crisis, Malik said adding that they have strong monitoring system to check any kind of syndication.
Distributorship would be cancelled if anybody violate the discipline of the company, Malik said replying to a query.
“My company has taken 50 percent price of the seeds in advance from the distributors as potato is a highly perishable good,” Malik said replying to an allegation on taking advance money for diamont variety seeds.
Besides diamont, his company will also import provento and vanila varieties also.
Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC), which distributes 15,000 tons certified seeds among the farmers every year, will also import 200 tons foundation seeds of diamont and other varieties.
The other two potato seed importing companies Blue Moon International and Agri Concerned will import Felsina, Mondial, Asterix and Ultra and Granula from German.