The Department of Agriculture Marketing has said that it is unreasonable to sell potatoes at Tk 38 to 42 per kg at the retail level. Therefore, the company has sent a letter to the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to ensure the sale of potatoes at a maximum price of Tk 30 per kg at the consumer level. Recently, a letter has been sent from the Department of Agricultural Marketing to the Deputy Commissioners of 64 districts.
In the last potato season, about 19 million tons of potatoes were produced in Bangladesh, the letter said, adding that the total demand for potatoes in the country is about 69 thousand tons. It shows that there is a surplus of about 31 lakh 91 thousand tons of potatoes produced last year. Although some amount of potato is exported, the possibility of deficit is very low.
‘When potatoes were stored in the cold storage during the potato season, the maximum price was Rs 14 per kg. The cost per kg of potato is 3 rupees 6 paise for cold storage rent, 47 paise for selection cost, 6 paise for weight loss, 2 rupees for capital interest and other expenses. In other words, one kg of potatoes costs a maximum of 21 rupees at the cold storage stage.
The letter said it is reasonable to sell potatoes to consumers by adding a dividend of 2 to 5 per cent on the sale price of preserved potatoes at the cold storage stage, 4 to 5 per cent at the wholesale level and 10 to 15 per cent at the retail level. In this case, if the potato is sold at the price of Tk 23 per kg from the cold storage stage, it appears that the potato conservator gets a profit of Tk 2.
On the other hand, the cost of warehousing, rent and labor is 6 paisa. Accordingly, it is mentioned in the letter that a maximum of Tk 25 can be given by adding the profit with the wholesale price (Aarta stage) of Tk 23: 7 paise.
The cost of production of potato per farmer is 7 rupees 32 paise per kg. In this case, the price of potato from cold storage stage is 23 rupees per kg, wholesale / warehouse price is 25 rupees and maximum retail price at consumer level is 30 rupees. But in the market, it is seen that potatoes are being sold at Rs 36 to 42 per kg at the retail level, which is unreasonable and not acceptable at all.
Therefore, retailers will sell potatoes at Tk 23 per kg at the cold storage level, Tk 25 at the wholesale level and Tk 30 at the consumer level. The letter requested the DCs to take necessary steps for strict monitoring and surveillance so that all the three parties, including cold storage, wholesalers and retailers at the consumer level, sell potatoes at this price.