TAPLEJUNG, Aug 7: Farmers of Taplejung have produced potatoes worth Rs 2.2 billion in the Fiscal Year 2018/2019.
According to the local liaison office of Agriculture Knowledge Center (AKC), potatoes of that quantity were produced in two seasons of farming -- monsoon and winter. According to Narahari Niraula, liaison officer of the center, potatoes were produced in 3,075 hectares of land in the monsoon and in 925 hectares in the winter.
The production of potatoes was 12.32 metric tons in the monsoon and 12.05 metric tons in the winter. According to Niraula, farmers have produced 37,884 metric tons of potato in the monsoon and 11,146 metric tons in the winter.
Currently, the price of potato per kg ranges from Rs 40 to Rs 70. The farmers have produced potatoes worth Rs 1.7 billion in the monsoon season alone. According to the AKC, the winter-season potato was worth Rs 500.15 million. As half of the production will be consumed locally, only half the amount will be sent for sale elsewhere, which will fetch the farmers about Rs 1.1 billion, according to the AKC.
In the northern part of the district, potato, maize, millet, barley and wheat are produced and consumed. In the mountainous region, mostly potatoes are consumed and in the villages located in the lower region, maize and potatoes are equally consumed.
In the areas where less paddy farming can be done, locals mostly consume maize, potato, wheat and barley. Agro-technician Deepak Bhandari said that if the organic fertilizers are made mandatory and if the farming process is carefully examined, the potential of potato production is very high here because of climate and the soil.