Potatoes have a special identity in India and is its one of the largest producer. It is highly demanded and consumed among the Indian people. That is why it is the 4th most important food crop after rice, wheat and maize. Potato is cultivated in 23 states of India. Punjab being one of the major contributor to its production. Potato prefer cool climate for optimum yield and thus production happen in mid-June to mid-July during October and November.
In India, potato cultivation is the best source of good earning. It helps farmers to achieve a high income and make farming businesses successful. Kisan of India brings the story of one such farmer. He is involved in commercial as well as subsistence farming.
Guru Charan Singh of Bathinda, Punjab mainly cultivates wheat and potatoes on 22 acres of agricultural land. He even grows different types of vegetables and fruits for personal use. We are here to discuss the three varieties of potatoes which he cultivates in the whole year. These varieties include Kurfi Surya and Kurfi Pushkar.
According to the research, Kurfi surya is an early maturing, heat tolerant and hopper-burn resistant potato variety with oblong tubers, white smooth skin and pale yellow flesh. Plants are tall with medium thick stems. It matures in 100-120 days and gives an average yield of 100-125 qtl/acre.
Kurfi Pushkar is a high yielding medium maturing variety having excellent keeping quality under ambient storage conditions. The most striking feature of this variety is its good keeping quality which can be very helpful in its wider acceptability and greater utilization.
Potato crops can be attacked by various pests and diseases, so proper measures should be taken and pesticides should be incorporated. Among various diseases affecting potato crop in Punjab, late blight caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans is the most destructive disease that can cause huge economic losses to farmers.
The cost per acre of potato cultivation for three crops comes to about Rs 50,000.