BHUBANESWAR : In a bid to make Odisha self-sufficient in potato production, the State Government on Wednesday signed an MoU with National Seeds Corporation (NSC) for procuring adequate quantity of quality potato seeds.
NSC will produce seed potatoes in the fields of farmers of Odisha or other States, said Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy.
It has been proposed to produce 50,000 quintals of seed potatoes and 1,500 quintals onion seeds during 2014-15 for sale during 2015-16.
Similarly, one lakh quintals of seed potato and 2,000 quintals of onion seeds will be produced during 2015-16 while the target for 2016-17 is 1.5 lakh quintals of seed potato and 2,500 quintals of onion seeds, Maharathy said.
International Potato Centre (CIP) has been requested to provide short duration varieties befitting our rice-based cropping system while the Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla has already provided 200 quintal of breeder seeds, the Minister added.
While the annual requirement of potato is about 10.5 lakh tonnes, the production in the State remains between two to 2.5 lakh tonnes leaving a gap of nearly eight to nine lakh tonnes. The area under potato cultivation has been reduced from 30,000 hectare during 1960 to 14,000 hectare in 2013-14.