Aeroponics technology being used to promote seed potato in Punjab

In a major step towards boosting potato farmers’ income, the Punjab government on Wednesday decided to allow production of quality seed potato through tissue culture based technology, using aeroponics facilities.

The state cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, approved the Punjab Tissue Culture Based Seed Potato Bill of 2020, to meet the demand of potato farmers for quality seed potato, and enable the development of the state as export hub for seed potato in the country.

The move would also help incentivize potato production, leading to greater diversification by bringing more area under potato crop cultivation, according to an official spokesperson.

Currently, potato crop is grown across an approximate area of one lakh hectares in the state, generating demand of four lakh metric tonnes of quality seed potato.

However, there is negligible supply of quality seed potato from the Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla. Some of the traders are currently illegally supplying the poor quality seed potato by putting the mark of Punjab seed potato on it, said the spokesperson.

He also said, “Besides demand from within the state, there is also a demand for seed potato from outside the state, and since Punjab is bestowed with unique climatic conditions, it is favourable for virus, bacterial and pathogen-free production of quality seed potato.”

Incidentally, horticulture crops are emerging as an attractive alternative under the state government’s crop diversification programme, and even though they cover only 4.84 per cent of the total cropped area to produce around 73.50 lakh metric tonnes, their share to the total agriculture GDP of the state is 12.43 per cent.

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Arushi Sana is the Co Founder of NYK Daily. She was a Forensic Data Analyst previously employed with EY (Ernst & Young). She aims to develop a global community of knowledge and journalism par excellence through this News Platform. Arushi holds a degree in Computer Science Engineering. She is also a Mentor for women suffering from Mental Health, and helps them in becoming published authors. Helping and educating people always came naturally to Arushi. She is a writer, political researcher, a social worker and a singer with a flair for languages. Travel and nature are the biggest spiritual getaways for her. She believes Yoga and communication can make the world a better place, and is optimistic of a bright yet mysterious future!