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India - Post rain, potato growers hopeful of good returns

Potato growers in the area are quite upbeat ahead of the harvest season. The crop was grown in approximately 6,230 acres in the city this season. Agriculture experts say that potato growers will reap rich dividends with high yield as mild rain at this time would prove to be conducive for growth of the crop. The rain has ended foggy conditions that affect its growth.

Jagdev Singh, a farmer from Mehma Sarja village in Goniana block, said: “Mild rain now will play a crucial role in potato growth. If there is no fog and hailstorm, I expect an impressive yield from the crop grown in around five acres this year. This year, improved potato prices also provide a hope of good return.”

Rohit Virk, another farmer from Virk Kalan village, said: “Mild rain over the past one week has not only provided required water for irrigation but ended foggy conditions that otherwise affect potato growth.”

The potato growers had incurred huge losses in the past three seasons as a result of which, area under the crop had reduced sizably. Market experts believe that reduction in area under potato cultivation had resulted in increased potato prices this season.

The Horticulture Department, however, has warned against potato blight that follows after rain. It has recommended sp inkling of blight fungicides.

Chief Agriculture Officer Guraditta Singh said: “Considering the current climatic conditions, an impressive potato yield is expected. But farmers must be prepared to ensure adequate arrangements for proper drainage of water in case of heavy rain, especially from fields situated in low-lying areas. Also, farmers must also follow pesticide and fungicide schedule.

This season rates of potato are also high. Therefore, farmers are expected to get good returns.” Reena, Horticulture Officer of Bathinda and Bhucho blocks, said: “the current rain will not affect the growth of potato but if it increases in the coming days, farmers must be ready to drain water from fields. To protect potato from blight, farmer must use blight fungicide.

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