Ramban’s high altitude areas to emerge as major potato seed producers

Ramban’s high altitude areas to emerge as major potato seed producers

Potato cultivation in India (Uttar Pradesh)

December 01, 2023
High-altitude areas of district Ramban like Gool, Mahu Mangit and Sanasar could become major potato seed producer areas and make the local farmers self-sufficient.

To distract farmers from traditional farming and attract them towards modern, integrated and lucrative farming to enhance their income, the agriculture department has introduced various cash crops under holistic agriculture development programme across the district Ramban.

Fayaz Mehmood and Shahnawaz Mehmood, both sons of Mohammad Shafi Jaral residents of Jamman village of Sub Division Gool, are upbeat about the cultivation of organic sugar-free potatoes sponsored under the centrally sponsored Seed Village programme scheme.

They said after shunning traditional farming, in May 2021 they had jointly sown in their 2.50 kanal land, 2 quintals of Kufri Himani potato seed provided free of cost by the Department of Agriculture, in its first-ever initiative in Sub Division Gool of district Ramban.

Fayaz Mehmood and Shahnawaz Mehmood said, even after returning the two quintals of produced potato seed to the agriculture department as agreed upon mutually under the scheme, they said. 6.2 quintals potato seed was spared when it was harvested in September and October, of the previous year which had accrued us a good profit, they said.

Agriculture officers said the characteristic of this potato is that it has less sugar content, has prolific production of 12 or 15 quintals per kanal, has a good shelf life and is available in the market in the off-season is in October and November, unlike the local potato which is available in the market in August and September.

Given its profitability and the government support, other local farmers of the district have started preferring it over the traditional farming of maize cultivation in the area too, agriculture officers said.

According to the agriculture officer, two other local farmers have been given 100 KG of Kufri Jyoti potato seed, which has a productivity ratio of 12 to 15 quintals per kanal. Its longer shelf life makes it a better marketable and storable vegetable, thereby reducing its storage problem, he added.
Officers of the department said under the Seed Village Scheme (Beej Gram Yojana) since 2014-15 to upgrade the quality of farmers’ seeds a trained group of farmers are involved in the production of seeds of various crops and cater to their needs themselves in this hilly district Ramban.

Under this financial assistance is available for up to one acre to one former for distribution of foundation-certified seeds like cereal crops, pulses, oil seeds etc, which are also available for self-sufficiency and self-reliance of the farmer and village.

The high altitude and cool areas are suitable for raising a particular crop of potatoes. Officers said seed is available at an appropriate time, and affordable cost even less than the market.

Chief Agriculture Officer said that two quintal seed of potatoes was provided free of cost under the seed village scheme to two brothers Fayaz Mehmood and Shahnawaz Mehmood both sons of Mohammad Shafi Jaral residents of Jamman village of Sub Division Gool for their 2.50 Kanal land previous year he said department rate of seed is INR 3300 (USD 39) per quintal and was procured back by the department and rest of the yield was taken by the department INR 3300 (USD 39) per quintal.

Fayaz and Shahnawaz each were given 100 Kg seeds. They sowed seeds in their 2.50 Kanal land and they yielded 8,2 quintal potatoes and earned income respectively. Field Agriculture officers claimed that there are many Agriculture credit linked schemes for providing financial assistance to farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs.

Deputy Commissioner Ramban, Mussarat Islam said integrated farming with a focus on cash crops which yield higher returns holds key development of agriculture and allied sectors in Ramban district.

Earlier DC asked bankers to lend to priority sectors like agriculture/horticulture. Also, finance start-up projects for sustainable livelihood. He said progressive farmers should be facilitated at all levels. The administration is committed to integrating all progressive farmers under a holistic agriculture Development programme.