The Pakistan Agriculture Research Council has produced 150,000 nuclear potato tubers, which would help in producing over 50,000 tones of certified seed to help with boosting yields and the availability of disease free potato seed in the country. Faizan Hashmi reports for UrduPoint that this milestone was achieved after the commercialization of potato tissue culture technology.
According to a press release issued by Ministry of National food Security and Research, Pakistan was cultivating potato on an 188.6 thousand hectares with an annual production of 4.61 million tones. The average yield is estimated at 23.6 tons per hectare.
Availability of healthy and disease free seed has been recognized as a major constraint limiting potato production in the country. Pakistan has the capacity to produce good quality potatoes and presently produces only less then 1% of its annual seed requirement of 415,000 metric tons.
Annually, 5,211 metric tons of seed was imported from Holland and other countries and almost $400 million were being invested on this import each year. To cope with the problem of a shortage of healthy locally available potato seed, tissue culture technology was the ultimate solution to rapidly multiply and disseminate disease free seed.
Disease free healthy potato nuclear seed produced from tissue cultured plants will now be provided to the private sector and individual growers to multiply the seed on their own for commercial production. Pakistan wants to become self-sufficient in potato seed by mid-2022.
Source: UrduPoint. Read the full report here