Jalandhar will soon become an epicentre of potato recearch as Punjab is all set to establish an ultramodern potato centre of excellence at Dhogri village in the district.
The centre will be developed under the aegis Indo-Dutch joint agriculture workgroup with a focus on quality seed potato, suitable farm mechanisation and disease management technologies.
The centre will come up at a cost of Rs 785 lakh on 56 acres where facilities like tissue culture, agronomics, net houses, cold store, laboratory for routine tests, drip fustigation, solar pumps, planting machines, grading and packing equipment.
The centre will have advisory body of experts from the Netherlands with involvement of state horticulture mission, agriculture department of the embassy of the Netherlands, Dutch experts and members of the Dutch potato centre. The centre will become functional by year-end.
Disclosing this on Sunday, an official spokesman of the state agriculture department said the centre would showcase added value of mechanism and management practices. He said latest technology agronomics would be used to meet the emerging need of virus-free and certified seed potato.
The spokesman said the centre would also come with techniques of post-harvest handling and storage with latest storage and monitoring systems to improve shelflife of the produce. He said the trained task force would help farmers as per standardised Dutch technology by stakeholders in the potato chain.
He said with the adoption of the proposed technologies, potatoes would be saved from 16 kinds of viruses, enhance shelflife of different varieties and seed would be produced in air instead of soil which would be further germinated and hardened in net houses.