Sarlahi, 16 February: Farmers in western Sarlahi, where potatoes are grown commercially, have worried because of the declining price of potatoes.
The farmers are complaining that they have to sell potatoes at Rs. 16-17 per kilogram while they had bought seed potatoes at Rs. 80 per kg.
The potato grown by the local farmers has failed to get the reasonable price as the Indian potato has entered the market in large quantity, said the farmers.
Niras Sah, a farmer of Barhathwa Municipality-2, Hazariya, said that he was facing difficulty even to recover the cost of potato farming this year.
"We sold potatoes at Rs. 22 to 25 per kg last year. This year, we are selling it at Rs. 16-17 per kg," said Sah.
During the potato planting season, the farmers had bought fertilisers paying Rs. 1,500 per sack (50 kilogram) in the black market. Sah said the farmers were frustrated when their products grown using expensive seeds and fertilisers failed to fetch good price.
Another farmer of Hazaria, Birman Shrestha, said that even though he had earned Rs. 275,000 by selling the potatoes grown in 15 katha of land last year, this year it would be difficult to collect even Rs. 100,000 from the sale.
According to him, the farmers have spent up to Rs. 10,000 to grow potatoes in a katha of land.
"Seeds and fertilisers were expensive during the plantation season due to lockdown and now we are unable to sell potato even at a reasonable price," said Shrestha.
Due to lack of storage, the farmers are now selling potatoes to the traders from their farm at a lower rate.
The farmers said that the local levels were not listening to their problems.
Potato is commercially cultivated in Hazariya, Rajghat, Barhathwa, Shankarpur and other areas in the western part of Sarlahi district in Province 2.