Considering the current market situation, the government has decided to allow the import of potatoes to increase the supply of potatoes in the market and to keep the prices stable.
The Ministry of Commerce of commerce issued a notification in this regard on Monday (30 October.)
Interested importers are requested to apply to the Ministry of Commerce for permission to import potatoes, it added.
Potato prices have soared in recent times. The price of potatoes has risen to Tk60-70 per kg this week, Tk10 more than last week, despite the government's fixed rate of Tk35-36 per kg.
The commerce ministry on 14 September fixed the maximum retail prices of potatoes at Tk35-36 per kg. The market analysis of the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) indicates that after price regulations, the price of potatoes had decreased to Tk45.
However, within the past month, potato prices have surged by 12%.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension, the annual demand for potatoes in the country is 85-90 lakh tonnes. In the fiscal year 2022-23, 1.12 crore tonnes of potatoes have been produced in the country.
Despite concerns raised by the Cold Storage Association regarding reduced potato production, the government has not acknowledged this issue.
"Even though the government has provided information indicating a potato production of over 10 million tonnes this year, potato production has not exceeded 8-8.5 million tonnes in reality," said Mostafa Azad Choudhury, president of the Cold Storage Association.
Earlier on 7 October, the Ministry of Agriculture gave an opinion opposing the plan of importing potatoes aiming to control prices in the domestic market.
As a result, the Ministry of Commerce could not allow businessmen to import potatoes back then.