Pakistani experts develop 7 new varieties of potatoes;-otgnewsupdate

Monday, July 13, 2020

Pakistani experts develop 7 new varieties of potatoes;-otgnewsupdate

Lahore: Experts of Potato Research and Development Board Punjab have developed 7 varieties of potatoes at the local level which will provide high quality and better yields.

Potato is an important crop of Pakistan as it yields more per acre than other crops. Agricultural experts say that potatoes are a complete food because they are rich in starch, vitamins, minerals and proteins. The potato crop is capable of yielding 2 to 3 times more dry matter than normal grains. Increasing potato production is essential to meet the food needs of the country's growing population and reduce the pressure on wheat.

Chaudhry Maqsood Ahmed Jutt, Chairman, Potato Development and Research Board, Punjab, told Express that his organization has developed 7 varieties of Aloki locally, including PRI Red, Ruby, Sadaf, Sialkot Red, Sahiwal Red and Cosmo. Out of these, the seed of PRI Red was given to Punjab Seed Corporation last year which was then prepared in large scale and given to the farmers and it yielded more than the normal crop.

Chaudhry Maqsood Jutt said that four more varieties of potatoes have been pre-qualified and now in the next few days their intellectual property rights will be auctioned. Various private companies will buy these varieties and then provide them to the farmers at cheaper rates. Locally grown potato varieties will not only be the best potato for chips but also beneficial for storage and dairy. We are currently cultivating seventh generation seeds imported from the Netherlands. We want to provide third generation seeds to our farmers so that they can get better and better yields at lower cost.

In this regard, DG Agriculture Extension Punjab Dr. Anjum Ali said that potato is the only crop in our country which is cultivated from the beach to the high peaks of the mountains. Three potato crops are cultivated in Punjab. Its two crops are grown in the plains, spring and autumn, and in the mountains, only one, the summer crop.

Punjab province accounts for 95% of the total potato production in Pakistan. Potato is cultivated in Punjab on an area of   about 400,000 acres every year. Due to the improved quality of Pakistani potatoes, there is a worldwide demand. According to the demand of international markets, it is time to improve the quality of vegetables, especially potatoes, and increase its exports. He said that potato production in Pakistan is 4 million tons while local gross consumption is 2.5 million tons. The country is producing more than 1.5 million tonnes of potatoes out of demand, the export of which can earn valuable foreign exchange.

On the other hand, agricultural experts say that potatoes can be exported to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and the Middle East, for which a significant mechanism is needed. According to a SMEDA report, the number of cold storages in the country is close to 538. Which is less than required, due to lack of storage, processing and other basic facilities in Pakistan 10 to 30 percent of agricultural commodities, fruits and vegetables are lost annually.


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