Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 2:
With the potato mission working ovetime to increase potato production in the state, the Odisha government aims to take the production of the tuber to one million tonne by 2017-18.
The decision on this count was taken yesterday at a high level meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary Gokul Chandra Pati.
The meeting also deliberated upon provision of better quality seeds, storage and sales support after productions for the farmers.
As per information provided by the government, the state government has targeted production of 4 Lakh tonnes of potato this year. The government plans to get potato cultivation done in about 20,000 hectares of land.
While production has been on a steady rise in the state, lack of cold storages has been a real concern for the farmers. Without cold storages, the farmers end up selling their produce when the demand is low, supply is high and prices are low. In turn, the state depends upon potatoes from West Bengal and Maharashtra while the prices are high.
As of now, there are 27 cold storages in the state with a combined storage capacity of 1.32 Lakh tonnes. The constructions of another 20 cold storages are underway. Overall, the State Government hopes to be able to provide for the storage for 3 lakh tonnes of potatoes by June 2017.
Given the seeds developed and grown in the state show better adaptability to the climate of the state, the Chief Secretary asked the Agriculture University to start a research project to develop an advanced seed from the potato cultivated in Phulbani.
Besides, it was also decided to start field level exhibitions of new varieties of seed to enhance productivity.