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CTCRI Introduces Chinese Potato Grader to Boost Farmers Income

As part of its mechanisation programme, the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram has introduced a Chinese potato grader.

Chintu Das
Potato Cultivation
Potato Cultivation

As part of its mechanisation program, the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram, is propagating the cultivation of a high-yielding and disease-resistant Chinese potato variety in Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts has introduced a grader.

Though demand for Chinese potato is high in the southern regions, especially during and after the northeast monsoon season, the tuber's price in the marketplaces rises exponentially due to a lack of supply. During this season, producers naturally obtain a fair price for their crops.

The Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (CTCRI) in Thiruvananthapuram, in collaboration with the Department of Horticulture of Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts, offered a high-yielding Chinese potato variety, 'Sree Dhara,' to the farmers to boost the output of this much-desired tuber crop. The CTCRI created 'seed villages' by teaching farmers from Kuththapaanjaan and Rajangapuram villages in Tenkasi district and Ambasamudram in Tirunelveli district since this variety was well received by agriculturists due to its disease resistance and high yield strain.

The CTCRI scientists also established demonstration farms in these two villages to ease the concerns of farmers interested in growing the 'Sree Dhara' variety.

Following this successful venture, the CTCRI held a training session on 'Stakeholders' interface on mechanisation in Chinese potato at the Office of Assistant Director of Agriculture, Ambasamudram in the district on Thursday for farmers from Ambasamudram and Kuththapaanjan in Alangulam block of Tenkasi district, in which the farmers were trained on grading the Chinese potato using a grader developed by CTCRI - Thiruvananthapuram.

"Uniformly grading Chinese potato tubers will raise the value of the product in both domestic and international markets." Chinese potato tubers are now graded manually at the farm level, which needs more labour, time, and is, of course, more expensive. ICAR-CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, recently constructed a Chinese potato grader with a capacity of grading 1 tonne Chinese potato every hour, with which the farmers have been trained to grade the tuber, to avoid this labor-intensive task and save time," stated R. Muthuraj, principal scientist, CTCRI.

Sheela Immanuel, Principal Scientist and Head, CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, discussed the importance of tuber crops in agriculture and how they can help farmers increase their income, while M.S. Sajeev, Principal Scientist, CTCRI, emphasised the importance of farm mechanisation in Chinese potato tubers for increasing farming income.

The training workshop was presided over by M. N. Sheela, Director of the CTCRI, who introduced the newly created Chinese potato grader to the farmers.

T. Krishnakumar, Scientist, CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram, who played a pivotal role in the development of the Chinese potato grader, explained in detail about the salient features of the grader.

CTCRI scientists D. Jaganathan and P. Prakash explained about the advantages of going in for the cultivation of ‘Sree Dhara’ variety of Chinese potato.

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