On July 20, the State Government of Odisha announced an ambitious plan to cultivate potatoes on 25,000 hectares of land. The decision to increase cultivation was taken in light of constant potato shortages which trouble Odisha consumers year after year. The decision was announced after a review meeting of ‘Potato Mission’ by the Agriculture Department. Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the Agriculture Secretary of the state said that the government will facilitate 1,000 metric tonnes of potato seeds to the farmers.
It must be mentioned here that the ‘Potato Mission’ — that was launched in 2014 to boost tuber production in the state — resulted in a big failure last year with a 30 percent drop in year on year production. While Odisha Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma blamed unfavourable weather conditions for the drop in production, agriculture experts pointed to the inability of the Agriculture Department to convince farmers. Besides, hundreds of farmers who cultivated potatoes had to sell their crops at low prices given lack of storage facilities in the state. Source: odishasuntimes.com