A British governor promoted potato cultivation in Bengal in the 1770s, and within a century it was a well established garden vegetable. However, large scale production was held back by the lack of suitable varieties: European cultivars were not adapted the hot Bengali plains.
Today, the potato has become a highly successful October-March winter crop in Bangladesh, with a production value - estimated at $560 million in 2005 - second only to that of paddy rice.
In 2007, Bangladeshi farmers harvested 4.3 million tonnes of potatoes (12 times more than in 1961), which placed the country at No. 14 among the world's potato producers and No. 4 in Asia.
The potato is usually grown for cash sale, and much of national production is concentrated near the capital, Dhaka, the country's largest urban market. Annual consumption has been growing briskly, from around 7 kg per capita in 1990 to more than 24 kg in 2005.
According to Directorate General of Food (DGoF), annual demand for potato in the country is 6.5-7.0 million tonnes against its production of 8.95 million tonnes (FY 2014).