Cultivation/Production, Sustainability

CIP: An inspired dryland potato harvest in India

blg1When CIP staff first arrived in Jodhpur things felt familiar. The arid landscape, the water table, and the warm days that fed into cool evenings were reminiscent of Gujarat- India’s most productive potato growing state, except that at Jodhpur and Jaisalmer district runs along the Pakistan border no potatoes were grown. The land was fertile and free of soil borne diseases, favorable conditions for potato cultivation.  Despite the obvious advantages potato farming was non-existent on this stretch of land. Charged by the CGIAR consortium with finding new areas of India to pilot potato programs as part of an International Potato Center’s (CIP) dryland outreach, Dr. Mohinder Kadian, a Low Land potato scientist, and Sushma Arya, a CIP agronomist, asked themselves, “why not take our experience of Gujarat and apply it in Jodhpur and Jaisalmer?” The original plan was to start with five farmers and work through a partner because the remote location made it hard to access. More

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