Haryana: Farmers to get iron, zinc-rich potato seed by January end - Hindustan Times
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Haryana: Farmers to get iron, zinc-rich potato seed by January end

By, Shamgarh (karnal)
Jan 07, 2024 06:44 AM IST

These mini tubers are naturally bred, miniaturised seed potatoes raised and multiplied under a greenhouse in virus-free conditions using aeroponics technique in soilless media

The mini tubers of a new variety of potato that is rich in iron and zinc contents, and is produced through a hi-tech technique in an insect-proof net by Potato Technology Centre (PTC) in Shamgarh, Karnal, will be out for farmers by the end of this month.

Jitender Singh, subject matter specialist, said the quality seeds of the latest kufri uday variety developed through the technique will prove to be a boon for the farmers. (HT Photo)
Jitender Singh, subject matter specialist, said the quality seeds of the latest kufri uday variety developed through the technique will prove to be a boon for the farmers. (HT Photo)

These mini tubers are naturally bred, miniaturised seed potatoes raised and multiplied under a greenhouse in virus-free conditions using aeroponics technique in soilless media.

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Jitender Singh, subject matter specialist, said the quality seeds of the latest kufri uday variety developed through the technique will prove to be a boon for the farmers and the end consumer will be able to get highly nutritious potatoes.

“The variety, which is rich in antioxidants and has an attractive colour, is easy to cook. This is an early bulking variety than its competitor pukhraj and is suitable for the soil in the north Indian plains,” he told the HT.

Aeroponics is a process of growing potatoes in an air or mist environment without soil, where microplants are planted in unit roots and would be suspended in the air in the dark chamber of a high-tech greenhouse. Here, the nutrient supply to roots will be made through nozzles under pressure automatically after a designated interval of time.

The technique established at PTC is one of the largest in India and the only one in Haryana that is actively working in collaboration with Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, thus helping to avoid soil-borne diseases, saving nutrients and providing higher yield than conventional plantations.

In comparison to net house production, the yield in aeroponics technique is four to five times higher and more tubers are obtained in less time, Singh said.

“Micropropagation of culture tubes procured from CPRI, Shimla, was conducted at our tissue culture lab facility and were hardened followed by transplanting at our aeroponics unit resulting in the production of high-quality mini tubers of potato seed. Generally, they grow up to five gm, but here we can also control its growth as per the requirement and takes at least 60 days to get ready. A farmer can directly sow up to 40,000 mini tubers per acre and later follow the process that will make it ready to be sold in the market,” he added.

Agri officials said the north Haryana districts of Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Karnal and Ambala cover nearly 70% of the total state production, where other popular varieties, including kufri pukhraj, two varieties of kufri chipsona and kufri frysona are grown.

Jintender Mongia, deputy director, PTC, said “The mini tubers will also be showcased at the two-day Potato Expo on January 12-13, likely to be attended by agriculture minister JP Dalal. By the end of this month, farmers can buy seeds online or directly by coming to the centre.”

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