New Delhi: Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar on Saturday March 26 participated in the annual general meeting of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and apprised the problem of potato cyst nematode. He sought a centre of excellence in the state.
Potato is the main source of income in the state and it is produced on 15,100 hectares, for which about three lakh quintal of certified seed per year is required, he said.
The foundation seed potatoes are produced in about 55 hectares in potato development centres by the Agriculture Department. For the last four years, the production of seed potatoes at potato development centres had to be stopped due to potato cyst nematode.
“… due to this, the production of foundation seed potatoes is not possible on the government farms and the farmers are suffering a lot,” said the minister.
He said in order to resolve the issue of potato cyst nematode, the technology developed for management should be transferred to the state government and farmers through the Central Potato Research Institute by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
The potato is produced on a large scale in Una district and urged the Central government to open a centre of excellence at Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Una.
He also urged the Central government to approve the projects based on pulses and oilseeds crops, so that the crops of pulses and oilseeds could be promoted in the state.