MoU signed between NSC and Govt. of Odisha NSC will produce 50,000 quintals of seed potato and 1,500 quintals onion seeds during 2014-15
Bhubaneswar, 22.10.2014:Today a MoU has been signed between National Seeds Corporation (NSC) and Govt. of Odisha in presence of Minister Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Sri Pradeep Maharathy and Principal Secretary, Agriculture Sri Rajesh Verma. The MoU has been signed by Dr. S.K.Chadha, Director of Horticulture on behalf of the Govt. and Sri Pramod Kumar Pattnaik, Regional Manager on behalf of NSC.
Speaking on this occasion Minister Agriculture Sri Maharathy said that, potato is one of the most important vegetable crops of Odisha. The annual requirement of potato is about 10.5 lakh MT where the production in the State remains between 2-2.5 lakh MT leaving a production gap of 8-9 lakh MT. The area under potato cultivation has reduced from 25000-30000 ha during 1960 to 14000 ha now.
One of the major constraints of reduction of potato production / cultivation is availability of quality seeds in time. Lack of sufficient nos of cold stores impacts the storages. Govt. has taken series of initiatives to make the state self sufficient in potato production. In this endeavour various National and International agencies have been approached to partner with the State.
Quality seed is one of the important inputs for increasing potato production. At present almost all seed potatoes are being procured from other States especially North Indian plains. However, Govt. has taken steps to increase seed production of potato in the State. International Potato Centre (CIP) has been requested to provide short duration varieties befitting our rice based cropping system. Central Potato Research Institute, Simla has already provided 200 qts of Breeder Seeds. The quantity will increase during next year.
National Seeds Corporation is a national level premier agency having experience in seed production and marketing in the country. The MoU has been made for production of seed potatoes by NSC in the fields of farmers of our State or other States. NSC will keep a margin of 5% and 7.5% for the seeds produced outside the State and produced inside the state respectively. It has been proposed to produce 50,000 quintals of seed potato and 1,500 quintals onion seeds during 2014-15 for sale during 2015-16. Similarly 1.0 lakh quintals of seed potato and 2,000 quintals of onion seeds will be produced during 2015-16 and 1.5 lakh of quintals of seed potato and 2,500 quintals of onion seeds will be produced during 2016-17 respectively said Minister Sri Maharathy.
Agriculture Secretary Sri Verma said that Directorate of Horticulture will procure the seeds and distribute among the farmers so that farmers of Odisha will get the seeds at reasonable prices. Government is also trying to enter into MoU with NHRDF, Nashik for seed production of potato and onions.