State Agri dept begins potato cultivation at North Bengal Univ

State Agri dept begins potato cultivation at North Bengal Univ

For the convenience of farmers and consumers, Agriculture department of Government of West Bengal has started potato cultivation with Apical Rooted Cutting (ARC) process at the Centre of Floriculture and Agri-Business Management (COFAM) department of the University of North Bengal in Siliguri.

With this process, potato seeds will be grown at the university premises which will help in reducing the production cost of potatoes. Not only in the university, potato cultivation with this process has started in different areas of North Bengal, including Jalpaiguri district.

On Wednesday, a demonstration-cum-technical discussion took place at the department where around 50 farmers from different areas of Jalpaiguri district participated. Farmers were given training on the ARC process.

Dr Mahefuz Ahmed, Assistant Director of Agriculture department, Jalpaiguri Division said: “We have collaborated with the International Potato Centre to execute the project. Potatoes used to be grown from seeds but with this process potato seeds will be grown by tissue culture. COFAM department has a tissue culture laboratory, therefore, we have selected the university for the project. The seeds which will be grown here will be distributed to farmers.”

He further said: “Farmers have to buy potato seeds from other states of the country which increases the transportation cost. If we can grow seeds here in North Bengal, the cost of production will be reduced. Market price of potatoes will also decrease.”

Around two years ago, initially, the Agriculture department did a trial of the process in Jalpaiguri. But this year, the department gave the process immense importance and started the cultivation process in different areas of North Bengal, including the university.

On December 28, around 1 lakh 27 thousand tissues were brought from Haryana. Cultivation started at NBU with 2,000 tissues.

Amarendra Pandey, Technical Officer of COFAM said: “This will help in increasing the quantity of potato production in this region. We want farmers to benefit.”

In this process, at first, tissue culture takes place after which saplings are cut into parts. Thereafter, routex hormone is used. Then saplings are planted in coco peat. It takes around 75 to 90 days to complete the process.

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