The State Agriculture Department and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) are jointly taking up steps to help farmers learn cultivation of potato seeds which they will use for production of potato in their own agricultural land.
With implementation of the project the farmers no more have to buy potato seeds at an exorbitant rate from market.
It has already been implemented in 4 blocks in Hooghly district including Chinsura, Tarakeswar and Pursura. The state government is now taking steps to implement the same in other potato producing districts including Burdwan, West Midnapore, Nadia and New Jalpaiguri.
NBARD has funded the project to initially support around 500 farmers from the potato cultivating districts to encourage cultivation of potato seeds. Using which the same farmers will cultivate potato. The State Agriculture department will certify the quality of seeds. The most interesting part of the project is that 27 young farmers have been chosen to be trained to share their knowledge on the process of cultivation of better quality of potato seeds with other farmers. Seeds of around seven to eight types of potatoes including Jyoti, Chandramukhi, Mrinalini and Kufri will be produced.
The State Agriculture Minister Purnendu Bose on Tuesday said in Nabanna that he will hold a high level meeting in this regard as it will benefit each and every potato cultivators.
The present scenario is such that farmers in the state need to depend on seeds produced in Jalandhar and they buy it at Rs 50 to Rs 55 per kg from market while the government rate is around Rs 20 to Rs 22 per kg.
Nearly 40 per cent of the farmers at present, cultivate potato seeds in the state and the government distributes a share of the total requirement. Thus, the farmers need to depend on Jalandhar to get quality potato seeds. But once the project becomes successful the farmers do not have to depend on anyone to get seeds for cultivation of potatoes. They will cultivate seeds on one part of their land and potato in the other part.