Monday, 27 October 2014

Training Workshop of Potato farmers of UP at Kannauj by Experts from Netherlands(October 27,2014)

On October27,2014(Monday),University of agriculture and technology , Kanpur  , Department of Horticulture and Food Processing ,Government of UP,in association with Netherlands Food Technology Centre(NAFTC)  organized  the inaugural session of  two days training workshop for the Potato farmers of UP.Sri Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of UP was the chief guest for the inaugural session ..Two cabinet ministers of UP , one minister of state  were also present.Prof(Dr.) Anton Haverkort of Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands and Mr. Marijn Leijien , Director Naftc were the guests of honour.I was present as Agriculture Production Commissioner of UP .The Vice Chancellor of University of agriculture and technology , Kanpur, Prof Munna Singh   was the chief organizer .DG , UP Council of Agriculture Research , Prof Rajendra Kumar  was also present , along with a galaxy of  experts , senior officers , media persons and  a large number of farmers.The session was truly  impressive and very unique.
                                    India  is the second largest producer of potatoes , after China.China produces 23.3% of global production while India produces 12.2%  and Russian Federation produces 8%.(Figures differ from year to year , and sin some years , India has been at third place).UP is the biggest producer of potatoes in India, producing about 39% of India's production.The area under potatoes in UP is 5.70 Lac hectares,the production is 120 lakh tons and the storage capacity is 120 lakh Metric Tons.But ,India and UP lag behind in productivity of potatoes..While productivity of potatoes in Netherlands is 46.3 MT per hectare,it is 44.8 MT/hectare in Germany .In india , productivity is 22.76 MT per hectare.The productivity in India is less than half of productivity  in Netherlands.
                            A memorandum of understanding(MOU) was signed between University of Agriculture and technology , and NAFTC on September20,2014.The broad areas of cooperation include:
1Technology transfer.
2.Yield enhancement.
3.Seed production and certification.
4.Variety development.
5.Infrastructure Up gradation .
6.Training and capacity building of farmers.
    Other areas of cooperation for future will be:
1.Energy efficient storage.
2.Processing and investment in processing.
3.Exports
In this direction,two significant policy decisions were UP Potato Development Policy ,2013 and UP Food Processing Industry Policy ,2012.
         In this two day training programme, 300 potato  farmers of 11 districts of 3 divisions of Kanpur,Agra and Aligarh are participating.There are about 20  scientists of University of Agriculture and technology ,who are also participating.The four objectives of the programme are:
1.Pre-sowing preparation.
2.Management of storage diseases.
3.Information about latest seed varieties.
4.Field training of farmers in village Niwazipur.
                        In my administrative experience of 34 years , this was the first occasion when a world renowned expert from a famous university was  training the   potato farmers of Uttar Pradesh directly.Breaking the barriers of language , race and nationality,Uttar Pradesh government took the bold step of spreading the latest  knowledge ,science and technology to the poor  farmers.This made all of us feel proud.I requested the farmers to raise their doubts and questions before the experts and satisfy themselves .We provided translators who translated the talk in Hindi.
                     I witnessed the transformation taking place before my eyes.