Certified seed potato to be provided for free to select farmers

By TheHindu on 13 Nov 2016 | read
‘Objective is to study difference in yield, resilience to disease’

The Department of Horticulture has launched a programme of promoting the sowing of certified potato seeds in Hassan. All these years, farmers were getting table potatoes from Punjab for sowing. On an experimental basis, the department has procured 136 quintals of certified seeds from Gurdaspur in Punjab, which will be distributed among select 65 potato growers in the district.

B. Suma, Deputy Director of Horticulture Department said on Friday that each farmer would be given two quintals of certified seed potatoes for sowing in their farmland. “We have selected the potato growers in all taluks for this programme. We will provide certified seed potatoes for free and guide the farmers on how to treat them before sowing,” she said.

The department has selected farmers possessing adequate land for sowing both certified and non-certified seeds simultaneously. “The objective is to study the difference in the yields and susceptibility to diseases. We will study the differences and show it to farmers," Ms. Suma said.

The department has procured the seeds at a cost of Rs. 23.25 a kg.

The Hassan farmers have been cultivating potato for several decades. In the last 10 years, farmers started losing interest in the crop due to late blight disease, which causes huge decline in the yield. This year, the quantity of seeds purchased by farmers would suffice for sowing in about 14,000 hectares of land. While many farmers have already completed the sowing of seeds, a few are still waiting for good spells of rain.

For many years, the growers have been demanding that certified seeds be supplied, so that they could claim compensation for any loss due to low yield.

  • 136 quintals of seeds procured for the purpose at Rs. 23.25 a kg from Gurdaspur in Punjab

  • ‘Farmers will be guided on how to treat certified seed potato before sowing’

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