Nevertheless, the potato industry is bogged down with certain challenges that need serious intervention. These can be broadly categorized as lower potential yield, early harvesting, uneconomic landholdings, requirement of capital that is mostly unavailable with farmers, shortage of firm labour, wrong dosage of fertilizer, inadequate and inefficient transport infrastructure, enhanced pest resistance, global warming, and inefficient cold storage facility, among others. Several other issues related to Potato sector in India were discussed today by Government officials, scientists, industry experts and leaders in 4th India International Potato Expo 2015 organized by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
4th India International Potato Expo 2015 is supported by MoFPI, NCCD, CPRI, ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture, NABARD, FAO, Department of Horticulture, Government of Haryana, Government of Bihar, Government of Madhya Pradesh, Government of Uttarakhand, Government of Meghalaya, National Horticulture Board, UPL, New Holland, ITC, Pepsico and NAFTC.
Shri Om Prakash Dhankar, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture & Horticulture Development, Government of India
In his remark he mentioned that Sustained economic and income growth, a fast growing urban population, and the increasing integration of global agri-food markets are fuelling rapid growth in demand for high-value food commodities in India. This is an opportunity for farmers, especially farmers, in India to augment their incomes and use innovation to connect with the market directly. The transition to high-value potato, however, is unlikely to be smooth. One of the major impediments is smallholders’ lack of access to markets. Local rural markets are thin, and trading in distant urban markets is not remunerative owing to high transportation and transaction costs. Besides, they also face problems in gaining access to credit, high quality inputs, improved technology, information, and services.
He also mentioned that branding of potato is very important. That would help the farmers to get better market acceptance and price of their produces. He informed the gathering that farmer education is very important in this regard to under the right kind of markets and price. In order to achieve better market position he suggested farmer cooperatives.
Dr. Sanjeev Chopra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in his speech mentioned that the potato growers in India need to be connected with the market. More knowledge about the current market price and demand would help them to understand where and when to sell their products.
He raised concern over the poor transport related infrastructure condition in India. He said that in order to reach the market on time and compete with other potato growing nations India needs to develop better infrastructure.
Taking about the storage facilities he mentioned that India’s cold storage facilities are still in a very nascent stage. Private companies and government need to develop better cold storage facilities in different parts of India so that potato can be stored for longer period of time. Lat but not the least he urged for better foreign trade policy to address various challenges faced by the farmers in order to sell their products to the international market.
Dr. B.P Singh, Director, CPRI, ICAR, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in his opening speech he mentioned that Climate Change has a major impact on the production of potato. However, the situation can be controlled by better technology and innovation. He urged that better knowledge sharing would help the farmers to understand how to identify challenges related to environmental changes and climate change.
He mentioned that promotion of potato is another area of concern which plays a vital role. He urged CPRI to look focus more on promotion and branding of Indian potato
He mentioned that all the states need to come together to discuss good and bad practices to share their experiences. Knowledge sharing would immensely help the farmers in India.
Mr. Suresh Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of Punjab.
In his remark he mentioned that adequate supply of quality seed is not available in India. In this regard he urged that government of India and Agriculture board should focus on this issue and make sure that the farmers get good quality and sufficient seed to meet the need nationally and internationally.
He showed concerns over various virus that are hampering production of potato. Some of them are still unknown to the farmers. He urged more research on this to identify these viruses.
Mr Kevin D Gallagher, FAO Representative in India
In his remark said that India needs to adopt global practices and time has come when we should learn from other nations. In this regard he suggested transfer of technology and knowledge.
He shared example of Vietnam and how they have come up with better and low cost potatoes. He urged that India should adopt such innovations to get better market and price.
About Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is one of the most pro-active and forward-looking Chambers in the country today. Its membership spans some of the most prominent and major industrial groups in India. ICC’s forte is its ability to anticipate the needs of the future, respond to challenges, and prepare the stakeholders in the economy to benefit from these changes and opportunities. Several of the distinguished industry leaders in India, such as Mr. B M Birla, Sir Ardeshir Dalal, Sir Badridas Goenka, Mr. S P Jain, Lala Karam Chand Thapar, Mr. Russi Mody, Mr. Ashok Jain, Mr. Sanjiv Goenka, have led the ICC as its President. (www.indianchamber.org)
TECHINAL SESSION CHAIRED BY DR. SATYEN YAADAV
President Horticulture Produce Management Institute working for the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in addressing entire value chain from farm to fork and providing the Technical Know-how thorough its specialized scientist. HPMI was incorporated in the year 2000 by a team of highly qualified and experienced scientists and professionals. HPMI, is engaged in popularization/ commercialization of Indian Horticulture by addressing the entire value chain from farm to fork including backward and forward linkages. During last twelve years, HPMI has contributed significantly in the development of commercial Horticulture by taking up many pioneering initiatives. Our strength is our team of highly qualified, experienced & dedicated professionals, headed by Dr. Satyen Yaadav, as President.