To intensify research on potato improvement in the state, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has entered into an agreement with the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI), Shimla, a premiere ICAR institute for potato research in India.
SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, and BP Singh, director, CPRI, signed the memorandum of understating (MoU) on behalf of their respective institutes on Wednesday.
The inked pact is the result of several discussions held between the scientists of PAU - vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon; Gosal; emeritus scientist TS Thind; technology marketing and IPR cell director SS Chahal and department of vegetable science head MS Dhaliwal - and CPRI - director BP Singh; project director PM Govindakrishnan and senior scientist V Bhardwaj - for over the past year.
PAU V-C Dhillon said under the signed agreement, PAU aimed at strengthening research work on potato, which was a predominant vegetable crop of Punjab. This collaboration would facilitate the flow of germplasm, including new varieties and advance hybrids to PAU, he added.
Gosal said since PAU had its regional research stations in different agro-climatic zones of the state, the germplasm lines and varieties/advance hybrids of potato would be evaluated at different locations, under this MoU, so as to find out the most-promising ones that were suitable for cultivation in Punjab.
The university would also get one voluntary ICAR centre on potato, he added.
“Recently, PAU has been associated as a research and knowledge partner with the University of Wageningen, The Netherlands, for the Indo-Dutch Centre of Excellence for Potato, which is to be set-up shortly in Punjab with the objective of developing state-of-art production and storage technologies for potato growers of the state,” he said.
Dhaliwal said the university would also join hands with CPRI in the development of new varieties of potato which would be released jointly by the two institutes. To begin with, the CPRI had supplied some potato varieties and advance breeding lines for evaluation at PAU, he said.