Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 12
Potato growers are not getting the desired benefit due to which lack of quality and certified potato seeds produced in the state, said Dr Paramjit Singh, project officer, the Potato Centre of Excellence that is being set in Dhogri village of the district.
In an interview with the TNS, Dr Paramjit said, “The purpose behind setting up the potato centre excellence is to prepare quality seed and then supply it to the farmers directly for better yield. Lack of certified and quality seeds is one of the reasons that potato crop got less than desired prices this year.
Dr Paramjit Singh was in the city to attend the second Kisan Mela organised by the Jalandhar Potato Growers Association (JPGA) Jalandhar.
He said, “The Country needs five million tons of potato seeds that seeds need to be certified, we are from Punjab Government’s Horticulture Department, the seed produced by us, would be certified . Meanwhile, the farmers have been growing their own seeds; which is not certified at all. The other states are also looking for the certified seeds only.”
He said the Central government has launched a National Horticulture Mission, where they have set a condition that if the farmers sow certified seed, they would be provided with subsidy. Therefore, they had been looking for certified seeds. If potato growers of the state start producing of the certified seed, they could get more benefits. Meanwhile almost zero per cent quality seeds is being produced by the farmers in the state.
He further said, “As much as 22.60 lakh metric ton seeds produced in Punjab. We need 4 lakh metric ton seeds in the state. As much as 3.50 lakh metric ton potato we need to consume in the state. We supply 9.50 lakh metric ton seeds to the other states, in addition to the 3.50 lakh metic ton potato we export to the other states for consumption. If we export certified seed to other state that would go on higher cost. Meanwhile not even one per cent area is under certification.”
“After the Potato Centre of Excellence had started working, all the potato growers in the state will be contacted ill to spread information and awareness. We will let farmers know about future demand in advance, about what sort of varieties they must opt for to get better benefits”, he added.
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