Búsqueda Avanzada
Bangladesh contract potato growers protest at Bombay Agro Limited

Bangladesh contract potato growers protest at Bombay Agro Limited

In Bangladesh, over a hundred 'contract potato growers' of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts blocked Debiganj-Nilphamari road at Debiganj upazila headquarters for two hours on Thursday as food processing company Bombay Agro Limited has declined to buy potato from them as per previous agreement.

At around 4:00pm, the potato farmers besieged the office of Bombay Agro Limited and scattered over one hundred maunds of potato on Debiganj-Nilphamari highway, keeping the road blocked for two hours.

Following an agreement signed with Bombay Agro Limited authority, the potato farmers cultivated Carage, Lady Rosetta and Asterix varieties of potato, taking the seeds for high prices from the company, the speakers said at a rally in front of the company office.

As per agreement, the company is to buy potato from their 'contract growers' at Tk 13 per kg but now the former is declining to comply with the agreement upon lame excuses as the present market price of potato in the harvesting period is lower than the contract rate, they said.

If the company does not buy the potato as per agreement, the contract growers of Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts will count huge losses.

In that case, they will not be able to repay the loan that they took from Mercantile Bank Ltd to bear the cultivation cost including high prices of the seeds from the company, the speakers said.

They warned of launching a tougher movement if the company does not take positive decision in this regard within a day or two.


Bombay Agro Limited pointed out to PotatoPro that the above article from the Daily Star is not correct and referred to the following rejoinder (published March 30, 2011 in the Daily Star)

Rejoinder Bombay Agro Limited
Bombay Agro Limited has taken a bold initiative this potato season to cultivate processing grade potatoes in Northern part of Bangladesh through contract farming agreement with the farmers. Most farmers who have signed up with Bombay Agro Limited are very happy with this initiative. Farmers at Bombay Agro Limited are delivering their produce to the company at Tk. 12 to Tk. 13 per kg depending on the variety grown.

Unfortunately, out of 155 contract farmers, only 29 farmers did not reach the expected quality standards.

As per the agreement, Bombay Agro Limited is not responsible to purchase below standard potatoes from the farmers. Hence there is no breach of accord. In response to the request from the underachieving farmers and to save them from incurring losses, the management agreed to accept these below standard potatoes at Tk. 8 per kg while the present market rate is Tk. 5 per kg.

Reply Daily Star
Our correspondent in Thakurgaon talked to a number of growers including - Nazrul Islam Khokon, Wahiduzzaman and Abdul Hamid of Chandipur village - and all of them said as per their agreement with Bombay Agro Limited they were supposed to receive all the potatoes they produced. They said though the company bought from them the potatoes of Carage and Lady Roseta varities at Tk. 12/13 kg rate, they declined to buy the potatoes of Astarix variety at the same rate on quality pretext and wanted to offer them Tk. 8 a kg.

The Daily Star also quoted the company's local representative in its March 27 report where he had acknowledged the matter saying lower prices were offered to some of the contract growers because of poor quality of their produces.