Net house potato farming gains ground in Rajshahi

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RAJSHAHI, Feb 12, 2019 (BSS)- Potato farming through net
house system for multiplying the tissue-culture based potato
seed successfully has been gaining popularity in the region
opens up a new door in the cash crop farming.

Abu Hena Mostofa Kamal, a commercial farmer of Mollikpur
village under Paba upazila, said number and acreage of the
modern farming method has been enhanced significantly for the
last couple of years because of its better output.

He has transplanted 4,000 plantlets while Mustafiz of
Ghipara village 2,000 plantlets and they were very busy
nurturing their growing plantlets.

Nur Alam of Khanpur and Masum of Parjunpara under
Mohanpur upazila and Ali Afzal of Jamalpur village under
Bagmara upazila said that they are very happy with the
present farming condition.

Mijanur Rahman Kazi, general secretary of Seed Potato
Growers Cooperative Society, told BSS that around 500 seed
growing farmers were very happy with their satisfactory yield
achieved through using the net-house farming method last
year.

He said the farming of foundation seed of potato through
using tissue culture technology and net-house system has
gradually been gaining popularity everywhere in the region
for the last couple of years.

The private entrepreneurs are showing interest in
boosting the mother potato-seed production locally after
using the modern technology instead of depending on the local
seed.

Apart from this, the potato growers are also showing
their interest in cultivating potato through using the
foundation seed as they have been reaping more yields.

He said the existing crisis of breeder seed could be
solved easily through successful expansion of tissue culture
technology at the grassroots as there was a bright prospect
of enhancing the production of breeder seed through best uses
of the innovated technology.

In addition to comparatively higher production and
hygienic, the tissue culture seed was 100 per cent virus and
disease free, healthy, high quality and environment-friendly,
he informed.

Potato production could be enhanced at least 50 percent
on the existing acreage if only the quality seed were ensured
among the growers.

SM Mustafizur Rahman, Additional Director of Department
of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said there has been a
tremendous demand for tissue cultured plantlets in the
region.

Not only farmers, but many educated youths, business
personnel and traders have become self-reliant by using
tissue cultured saplings in this region, he added.

Agriculturist Rahman says DAE has set a target of
producing more than 45.67 lakh tonnes of potato from 1.68
lakh hectares of land in the Rajshahi division during the
current season.

Professor Monzur Hossain of Rajshahi University, pioneer
in innovation of tissue cultured saplings, said they had
innovated the method of producing tissue culture potato-seed
in 1987.

Since then, he has been disseminating the developed
technology to both the private and public level seed
producing farms significantly.

To meet the local demands, the nation had to depend on
import from abroad through spending huge hard-earned foreign
currencies, he added.

‘We can reduce dependence on import through enhancing
domestic production through proper and best uses of the
modern technologies in the farming and the tissue culture is
one of the potential and proven technologies,’ he said.

In many areas, he said cultivation of cash crops through
tissue culture has brought a silent revolution in
agricultural sector.

Thousands of farmers have changed their lot by growing
quality crops through using tissue cultured saplings. To feed
farmers with sterile saplings, over 20 tissue culture
laboratories are now functioning commercially in the region.

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