Saturday, 2 March, 2024

Amid shortage of inputs, Sunsari farmers still pursue potato farming


By Jay Krishna Yadav
Inaruwa, Jan. 30: Gulab Chand Meheta, a farmer from Dewangunj Rural Municipality, has been involved in organic potato cultivation for a year since when there has been a shortage of fertilizers in the market.
“I have been using wastes from house and manures of livestock to make organic fertilizer for potato cultivation,” said Mehata.
Alongside Mehata, many farmers from Ward No. 1 (Madhyaharshahi), 3 and 4 (Kaptangunj), and 5 (Sahebgunj) of the municipality have started cultivating potatoes with organic manure made from household wastes for some years now.

The farmers argued that they opted for organic potato cultivation due to lack of chemical fertilizers in the market over the years.
“The lands here are favourable for potato cultivation and proper organic manure further ensures quality production,” said Rita Mehata, a local from Kaptangunj.
Rita also said that over 200 bighas of land is being used for potato cultivation in Dewangunj.

Meanwhile, another local Ram Prasad Mehata informed that the farmers in Dewangunj have been bound to continue potato cultivation.
“There has been a shortage of fertilizers in the market. It created questions among the farmers but they still continued potato cultivation with organic fertlizers,” said Ram Prasad.
He further added it had led to the smuggling of fertilizers from across the border. “Moreover, the potatoes don’t get a decent price at the end.”
In his three bighas of land, Ram Prasad expects to invest Rs. 200,000 and earn Rs. 400,000 from potato cultivation.

“Amid shortage of fertlizers, markets and seeds, potato farming still continues to be the major attraction for Dewangunj farmers. There is no other option,” said Ram Prasad.
Another organic potato farmer of Dewangunj Gita Mehata informed that she has been supporting her house, children’s education and other necessities through the income from potatoes.
“We grow potatoes with great difficulties. The government needs to set a rate for the production so that we don’t have to worry about getting paid less,” said Ramananda Mehata, another potato farmer.

Ramananda further added that it takes two to three months for potatoes to grow and one needs to water it at least eight times. “We use ground water to water potatoes as we don’t have proper water supply as well.”