A Pilot project on demonstration at potato cultivation has been initiated on 15th November 2018.  Three potato varieties which are Diamond, Aestarix and Alga has been planted in the demonstration field within CIRDAP campus. The research team is monitoring the activities from production to harvest in order to understand the pros and cons of the verities. The expected time of harvesting of potato from this project is 1st week of March, 2019.

The objectives of the project is to identify the high yielding varieties of potato among three promising varieties and also find out the ratio of pest & disease infestation during the production period.

Director General of CIRDAP Mr. Tevita G. Boseiwaqa Taginavulau inaugurated the project by planting potato seed in the ground on 15th November 2018. Programme Officer (Research) Mr. George Chandra Babu, Programme Coordinator Mr. Zakaria are coordinating the project.

Director General of CIRDAP said that, ‘this demonstration will show farmers an efficient insight to adapt best cultivation practices in this sector. This project is taken to explore more scopes for the farmers and the market with a view to encouraging potato production, reducing wastage, increasing processing and exporting potatoes in a larger scale”.

‘This will create an enormous impact in both micro and macro level economies by helping farmers to be more economically solvent’, he added. CIRDAP will also be working to strengthen the linkage among producers, processors and exporters as follow up of the project.

Potato is considered to be the 4th most important food crop just after rice, wheat and corn in global food production. Potatoes appear in Asian diets as accompanying vegetables but in many countries like in highland areas of China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, India, Mongolia and Nepal etc. where potatoes are a dietary staple.

China is the greatest producer followed by India. Bangladesh ranks 7th in terms of Potato production in the world. Asia and Europe produce more that 80% of the world production. Currently fresh potato production is 321 million tons using 19.5 million hectors of land globally.

Potatoes are a good source of several healthy vitamins, minerals, plant compounds, vitamins C, B6, manganese, phosphorus, sugar, fiber, Omega-3 and 6 etc. They may also help prevent heart diseases, Blood pressure, immunity, inflammation, digestion problems etc. Potatoes could be a vehicle for addressing different types of malnutrition worldwide where consumption of potato is meaningful.

Potato plays a vital role in contributing as one of the major sources of food energy for the poor people. Given the backdrop, this is the 1st demonstration that has been made within the CIRDAP campus.