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POST TIME: 18 March, 2019 12:58:08 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 18 March, 2019 11:16:42 AM
Commercial production of high-yield potato, jute soon
SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, Dhaka

Commercial production of high-yield potato, jute soon

High yielding varieties of potato and ‘tosha paat (jute)’ will be introduced soon for commercial production as the National Seed Board (NSB) has given its approval in this regard. According to sources, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) has developed the high yield potato variant, ‘BARI Alu-81’, while Bangladesh Jute Research Institute (BJRI) has developed the high yield jute variant ‘BJRI Tosha Paat-8’.

At a recently held meeting at the NSB, chaired by agriculture secretary Md Nasiruzzaman, approvals were given to introduce these variants to farmers, sources said. “The original strain for the high yielding variety BARI Alu-81 was collected from the International Potato Center (CIP). Scientists at BARI then developed the variety through cloning the CIP-10 line. The variant developed by BARI researchers can produce very high yields,” Ashraf Uddin Ahmed, additional secretary of the agriculture ministry, who is also director-general (seeds), told this correspondent.

He further said BARI Alu-81 potato has been approved as a food item, noting that the variety grows very fast.

“The BARI scientists have cultivated BARI Alu-81 potato in six areas on a trial basis. The production was 39.66 tonnes per hectare, while the production capacity of BARI Alu-7 (Diamond) potato is 28.1 tonnes per hectare,” Ahmed said.

He said the field evaluation team has suggested distributing BARI Alu-81 seeds to farmers on a commercial basis. The farmers should be able to harvest the new variety of high yielding potato within 90-95 days and the potato is tolerant to viruses, he added.

“BJRI Tosha Paat-8 was developed by scientists of BJRI. This is a fast-growing and high-yield variant,” Ashraf Uddin Ahmed said. The newly developed variant was cultivated in 12 places on a trial basis, and the population growth of the variety was 3.9 lakh per hectare, while check variety population growth stands at 3.58 lakh. According to the additional secretary, the farmers can cultivate the two high yielding varieties of potato and jute as the NSB has given its approval.

“We hope that farmers will benefit by cultivating the two high yielding varieties,” he observed.

The seed certification agency has already completed the test of distinctness, uniformity and stability (DUS) of the two new varieties of potato and jute.

MK