Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) on Variety Evaluation Committee (VEC) on Pakistani Potato has placed a recommendation for improvement of local quality certified seed using tissue culture.
To enhance per acre crop production for sustainable agriculture development it asked in the meeting for beginning a National Potato Institute in the country. The initiative to increasing per acre yield will not only augment sustainable agriculture growth but gain economic benefit by exporting the surplus yield to get foreign exchange, it added.
Dr. Yusuf Zafar Chairman PARC met with VEC on Potato and noted that potato seed import has reduced by 50% due to research of agri-scientists.
The PARC chairman said that Pakistan having ideal environmental conditions was blessed with four seasons, for varied agriculture production systems. Major horticultural crops are vegetable and fruit of the country, adding that potato ranks higher position among vegetables concerning area under cultivation and yield. He further said that globally potato was fourth largest food crop after rice, wheat, and maize and Pakistan have natural advantage of growing these crops like potato. Private and public sectors in certified potato production by planning and technical assistance have been strengthening that caused 50% reduction of the import of the seed potato, he added.
Dr. Hafeezur Rahman National Coordinator informed the meeting that in the interim, potato crop was cultivated over 170.3 acres having production of 39.39 million tons. He said that about there are 5,000 varieties of potato worldwide, where as in Pakistan white and red skin both varieties are cultivated.