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Kashmir Valley could become a leading potato seed producer

Jammu and Kashmir is on road to become self-reliant in terms of potato seed requirement (File image)

Production of 6000 quintal of high quality virus-free potato seeds is expected from the six high altitude departmental potato seed multiplication farms in the Kashmir valley during the current year.

This was stated by senior officials of Kashmir Agriculture Department during the visit of Vivek Agarwal, Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, to the Potato Seed Multiplication Farm at Yarikha, Tangmarg, on Friday.

During the visit, the Additional Secretary inspected different sections of the farm and interacted with the concerned officers and technical experts about the working of the unit.

Director Agriculture Mohammad Iqbal briefed the senior official regarding the activities being carried out in the farm for propagation of virus free seed tubers. He said that unique climatic conditions in the Valley offer a good opportunity for propagating virus free potato seeds.

The department has also embarked on the principle of 'one farm one/two products' as per the suitability and technical parameters like soil texture, soil health and irrigation status of the farms.

While appreciating work done by the local authorities, the Additional Secretary highlighted the importance of latest technological interventions during the production of potato seed tubers. He asked to put in all the efforts for a successful cropping season so that the Union Territory could not only become self-reliant in terms of potato seed requirement but should also be in a position to export seed to other parts of the country.

Regarding the issue of availability of breeder seeds, the Additional Secretary assured that the matter would be taken up with Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

A delegation of progressive farmers and potato growers of Tangmarg and adjoining areas also held a detailed interaction with the senior officials during the visit. They expressed gratitude for various initiatives and farmer-friendly schemes launched by the Indian government for welfare and uplift of the farming community.

Later, Agarwal also visited the Potato Seed Multiplication Farm in Gulmarg and took a review of activities being taken up there.