Peru To Assist Taj City In Transforming Potato Farming

Peru To Assist Taj City In Transforming Potato Farming

Agra, June 24 (TNA) The prestigious International Potato Research Institute of Peru is set to open a centre in Seengna village, 25 km from Agra, following the transfer of land by the UP state horticulture department.

Dr Dharam Pal Yadav, Deputy Director of the state horticulture department, confirmed that the land transfer formalities are complete, and the National Horticulture Board will soon begin construction. Peru is assisting in the establishment of the research centre, which will focus on developing new, more profitable, and nutritious potato varieties.

Agra, a major potato-growing area, saw support for this project from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election speech at Kothi Meena Bazar ground before the 2014 Lok Sabha election. UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, along with the Union Agriculture Ministry, followed up on this initiative, leading to the decision to establish the center eight years ago. Approximately 34 per cent of India's total potato production comes from this region, covering over 158,205 hectares.

Raj Kumar Chahar, the BJP Lok Sabha member from Fatehpur Sikri (Agra rural), welcomed the decision, calling it a golden opportunity for potato cultivators in the Agra region. Agra potatoes are in high demand by wafers and chip makers, with farmers selling their produce directly to southern states and neighbouring countries. The district hosts hundreds of cold storage to support local cultivators.

The new branch of the International Potato Research Centre will provide farmers with improved seed varieties, focusing on potato processing and developing potato species suitable for making chips. Horticulturists in Agra believe that a research centre will help farmers acquire quality seeds and learn new cultivation techniques. The district requires 7 lakh metric tons of quality seeds annually.

Agricultural scientists state that maximum germplasm will be brought from Lima, Peru, to the Agra branch. These new potato varieties will yield better crops, with potatoes maturing in just 65 days. This will allow farmers to achieve better prices in a shorter time, increasing their income. The centre will also produce potatoes with medicinal properties and coloured potatoes. The advanced lab in Agra will introduce new technology for preparing potato seeds, reducing costs and boosting farmers' incomes.

With the establishment of the new research centre in Agra, India aims to develop exportable potato varieties tailored to local conditions, potentially surpassing China's dominance in the potato market.

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