Millennium Post

WBAICL training farmers to produce potato seeds on their own

KOLKATA: In a stride towards making farmers produce potato seeds on their own and use them for cultivation, the West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation Ltd (WBAICL) is imparting training to farmers at Simlapal in Bankura district of Bengal.
The move by the state is aimed at stopping import of potato seeds from Punjab, which is often of inferior quality.
"We have to import potato seeds from Punjab and as they are not certified, there are often complaints over quality of the seeds. We are stressing on empowering the farmers to produce certified and truth-labeled (TL) seeds on their own, which will stop them from importing seeds from Punjab. Once they learn to produce seeds on their own and use them for cultivation of potatoes, the production cost will naturally come down," said Subhasis Batabyal, vice-chairman of WBAICL.
The training programme is being conducted on an 80 bigha land at Simlapal and agricultural scientists are providing all sorts of assistance to the state government for the programme.
The state is procuring breeder seeds of good quality from West Bengal Comprehensive Area Development Corporation (WBCADC).
The Agriculture department is converting them into foundation form and is then training the farmers to make certified and TL seeds on their own and use them for cultivation.
After successful completion of training in Simlapal, the WBAICL will give similar training to the farmers of Roypur, Sarenga and Taldangra, all located in the southern part of Bankura.
Farmers associated with potato cultivation in the northern part of Bankura, which includes areas of Patrasayer, Joypur, Kotulpur and Sonamukhi, have already embraced the technology and are able to produce their own seeds for cultivation of potatoes.
The state government has been providing training for quite some time to farmers in the districts, where there is large-scale potato cultivation.
Hooghly, Burdwan, Paschim Medinipur and Bankura in South Bengal and Coochbehar and Jalpaiguri in North Bengal, are the major potato producing states.
It may be mentioned that one lakh metric tonnes of seeds are required annually in the state, but a little more than 25,000 metric tonnes are produced in the state. The rest is imported.

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