Shakti Sharan Singh
Khanna | 16 May 2017
Agri experts in Punjab have suggested farmers to market their own produce and self production of seeds to cut down on the cost of agricultural production.
In a session on ‘Varietal Improvement, Storage and Marketing of Potatoes’ organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) last week, in association with the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the Government of India, & Mehram Publication, the experts further said that growing potato can help raise the income of farmers in Punjab as it is among the highest potato producing states in the country.
Paramjit Singh Brar, Chief Agricultural Officer, Ludhiana, urged farmers to produce seeds for cultivation themselves. He asked farmers to market their agricultural produce and diversify into producing agri-related products like corn, vegetables and milk products to sell in the market.
He suggested, “Farmers can easily set aside a part of their land to produce seeds for their next crop. This will help them save money on buying seeds from the market and reduce the input costs in agriculture.”
He further said, “Farmers should market their agricultural produce to earn more profit and thus increase their income. Farmers are very hard working community which produces more and more every year but are shy to market the produce directly. For this they can connect with technical experts to learn how to effectively market their produce and also produce agri-products to add to their income”.
Emphasizing the potential in seed production, Satpal Sharma, from Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, said, “Currently, 20 lakh hectare area in the country is under potato cultivation. Out of this 90,000 hectare area is in Punjab which leads to production of 23 lakh tonnes potato. Punjab also sells 75 per cent of potato seeds to the rest of the country. If farmers grow potato seeds on even one fourth of the land, then we need only 15 lakh ton potato crop with seed. Potato can help farmers earn very high profit”.
Speaking on the occasion, Ramandeep Singh from Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana stressed on the need for packaging of agri produce to sell it. He said, “Packaging of agricultural produce holds key to sell agri produce more effectively and earn more. Farm market concept needs to be propagated in Punjab more effectively.”