BHOPAL: Scientists at the Central Institute of Agricultural Engineering (CIAE) in the state capital have tasted success in growing large potatoes, each weighing 1kg. It is believed such huge size potatoes are grown for the first time in the country. Usually, such huge potatoes are imported from other countries by those into production of wafers or potato chips.
KVR Rao, principal scientist, in irrigation and drainage department along with his team was able to grow such a huge potato. Rao said, the experiment was successful and plastic munching technique was used. It helped in fast growth of microbes, which in turn triggered tuber’s size by at least three times. Rao said, “By using plastic munching technique, we were able to grow such huge potato. In plastic munching, a special plastic sheet with silver and black colour is installed on the farm land. Then a hole is made in the plastic sheet under which seed is sown.”
“The plastic munch method will help raise yield output manifold and prevent the crop from pest attack and diseases. The sheet will support crop during excess rain and lack of required rain.” Rao claimed, “Farming of potato is difficult in the state due to black soil, but through plastic munching we can grow it that too in bigger size.” Rao said, “I have been working for three years to increase size of potatoes. Last year, we did first successful trial. On Wednesday, after harvesting second trial, we were able to do our successful experiment.” “Farmers will have to invest around Rs 24,000 per hectare on plastic munching sheet. After installing this, fertilizer and labour expenses will be nil and production will be three times higher than conventional method,” he said.