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19 April 2017

Joypurhat Farmers Reduce Losses with Cheap Cold Storage

Img: Dhaka Tribune 
Industrial cold storage can be expensive, but is the perfect way to preserve goods for months on end to increase profits and overall business success. In poorer farming districts like Joypurhat in Northern Bangladesh, many farmers suffer losses due to lack of access to sufficient cold storage systems.

Farmers of Khetlal upazila in Joypurhat are forced to sell their potatoes at lower prices at the start of the season offering less profit due to a shortage of cold storage facilities, not allowing for preservation throughout the season. The losses mount to around 5,000-7,000 Bangladeshi Taka (Tk) (which converts to around only 50-70GBP), but for the poor community, these losses are significant.

However, local NGO Ahead Social Organisation (ASO) have developed new, cheap cold storage for farmers to preserve potatoes, therefore allowing them to be sold later in the season at a higher price.

ASO Project Coordinator Mozaffar Rahman said poor farmers had to account for losses as they could not afford to store their crops and sell them after two months when the price goes up, as reported by Dhaka Tribune.

The newly-developed system named ‘Goriber Himagar’ – translating to ‘cold storage of the poor’ – consists of 12-foot-high houses made of bamboo and thatch. The costs of the cold storage houses is around Tk25,000 to Tk30,000, and they can store up to an impressive five tonnes of potatoes (120-130 maund).

Each maund of potato is now able to be sold for Tk550 several months into the season, instead of the price at the start of the season, Tk220. Rahman comments in noting that the storage facility was developed with farmers’ struggles in mind, and the benefits - with the selling price more than double - being clear and significant.

Laura Sewell

An aspiring journalist, Laura is our content writer intern.  Pop-punk gig-goer and drag queen enthusiast, Laura is working her way into the industry with an English A -Level and love of writing about anything and everything in tow.