India’s first virus free potato seed propagation lab to be built in Madhya Pradesh

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06 May 2022, New Delhi: The Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has developed unique technology for aeroponic potato seed production. This technology helps in propagation of virus free potato seeds.

Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mr. Narendra Singh Tomar signed an agreement with Madhya Pradesh Government, represented by Mr. Bharat Singh Kushwaha Madhya Pradesh’s Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Horticulture for setting up a lab in Gwalior for aeroponic method for production of virus free potato seeds in the state.

In aeropinic method of propagation, nutrients are sprayed on the roots in the form of misting through aeroponics system. The upper part of the plant remains in the open air and light. An average of 35-60 tubers (3-10 grams) are obtained from one plant. Since soil is not used for propogation, there is no soil-related diseases. Aeroponic breeder saves two years in seed development as compared to conventional system.

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The Union Minister Mr. Tomar said that the Central Government is working with full commitment to provide certified seeds of crops to the farmers on time. In this series, new technologies are developed by the institutes of ICAR in their respective fields.

Union Minister Mr. Tomar expressed happiness that the farmers can now get virus free potato seeds through aeroponic method of production. The seeds have been made available to farmers in many parts of the country. A contract has been signed to license this technology to the Horticulture Department of Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Tomar said that this new technology will significantly fulfill the requirement of potato seeds and ultimately increase the production of potato in the state as well as in the country. He said that potato is the world’s most important non-cereal crop, which has an important role in the global food system. The Minister appreciated the agricultural scientists for their excellent research.

Madhya Pradesh’s Minister of State Mr. Kushwaha expressed hope that this technology will meet the requirement of potato seed to a great extent and will increase the production in the state. He further said that Madhya Pradesh is the sixth largest producer of potato in the country. Malwa region plays an important role in production. Madhya Pradesh Potato has emerged as an ideal destination for processing. Major potato growing areas in the state are Indore, Gwalior, Ujjain, Dewas, Shajapur and Bhopal.

The shortage of high quality seeds has always been a problem in the state, which is being solved. The potato growing farmers of Madhya Pradesh will also get a lot of convenience from this contract signed today.

Madhya Pradesh required about 4 lakh tonnes of seed per year which will be met with this technology with a capacity to produce one million mini tubers. Potato crop has also been selected under one district one product in Gwalior.

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