Modi to address global potato meet in Gandhinagar on Tuesday

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 27, 2020

PM to speak about achievements and opportunities in potato research via video-conferencing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the third Global Potato Conclave that commences in Gandhinagar on Tuesday through video-conferencing, an official statement said here on Monday.

While addressing the three-day global event, Modi is expected to take an overall view of the achievements and opportunities in potato research, trade and industry and value chain management, and set a roadmap for the decade.

Every 10 years, it is necessary to work out the achievements in the potato sector and set a roadmap for the forthcoming decade. In this direction, over the past two decades, two Global Potato Conferences were organised, in 1999 and 2008, said the statement.

The conclave will provide an opportunity to bring all stakeholders on one common platform so that all the issues are discussed and future plans are made, it added. The event will expose different stakeholders to the frontiers of knowledge and innovations in potato research, it further said.

Gujarat leads production

Gujarat is one of the leading producers of potato in the country. In the last 11 years, while the area under the crop in India has increased only 19 per cent, Gujarat managed to increase it by about 170 per cent (49,700 hectares in 2006-07 to 133,000 ha in 2017-18).

With a productivity of more than 30 tonnes/ha, Gujarat has held the No 1 position in India for the past decade. The State uses modern methods of agriculture such as sprinkler and drip irrigation for potato cultivation. It also has the best cold storage facilities and linkages and is a hub for major potato processing industries in the country. In addition, most of the potato exporters are based in Gujarat. These have led to the emergence of the State as a major potato hub in the country, making it the most suitable place to host the 3rd Global Conclave, the statement noted.

The Conclave is being organised by the Indian Potato Association (IPA) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, ICAR-Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, and International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru.

Three major components

The event has three major components; (i) the Potato Conference, (ii) the Agri Expo and (iii) Potato Field Day.

The Potato Conference will be held for three days from January 28. It will feature 10 themes, of which eight are based on basic and applied research. The remaining two themes will have special emphasis on potato trade, value chain management and policy issues.

The Agri Expo, organised over the tree-day event, will showcase the status of potato-based industries and trade, processing, seed potato production, biotechnology, public-private partnership in technology transfer and farmers related products, among others.

The Potato Field Day will be organised on January 31. This will include a demonstration of advancements in potato mechanisation, potato varieties and latest technologies.

Major issues

Major issues that are expected to come up for discussion are shortage of planting material, supply chains, post-harvest losses, need for enhanced processing, export and diversified utilisation, policy support for the production and use of certified seeds, and long-distance transport and export promotion, the statement added.

Published on January 27, 2020

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