Bhubaneswar: The Indian staff of the International Potato Center (CIP) collected six lac thirty thousand two hundred rupees for supporting rebuilding of Odisha battered by Cyclone “Fani”. Dr. Samarendu Mohanty, Asia Regional Director of CIP handed over the cheque to Hon’ble Chief Secretary, Mr. Aditya Prasad Padhi in the state secretariat on 1st June 2019.
CIP is an agricultural research and development institution specializing in roots and tuber crops to deliver technologies and sustainable solutions to the pressing world issues of hunger, poverty, nutrition, gender equity, degradation of natural resources, ecosystem resilience, and climate change. Headquartered in Peru, with offices in 20 countries, CIP brings 46 years of global experience in potato research and development. CIP is a member of CGIAR, a global agricultural research partnership for a food secure future.
CIP has been working with Odisha Government in expanding potato and sweet potato production and value chain in the state. In an ongoing sweet potato project in Odisha, orange fleshed varieties with better nutrition were introduced in four target districts. These varieties are now grown on 1,325 hectares in four districts with a productivity increase of 17%.
Beginning this year, CIP will work with the government of Odisha to improve potato self-sufficiency in the state and help address income generation of small and marginal farmers.
CIP in partnership with the Central Potato Research Institute will introduce of short duration abiotic (heat and drought) and biotic (bacterial wilt and late blight) tolerant potato varieties with locally produced quality potato seeds at affordable price. This will be integrated with improved production practices including better pest and disease management, weed control, and water and nutrient management strategies to maximize its impact on productivity and improve system sustainability.
These technologies will be promoted along with the varieties through the Small Farmers, Large Field (SFLF) model to facilitate the dissemination of varieties, purchase of inputs, mechanization of operations, provision of services, and selling of potato at larger scale. This approach is based on pooling small plots into larger, synchronized production units (50−100 hectares for sweet potato; 10 to 20 ha for quinoa), through which farmers will be able to operate more efficiently and respond to larger demand such as from food processing companies.
Originally developed in Vietnam in 2011, a customized version of the SFLF model was piloted with farmers in Taraboisasan village near Bhubaneswar, Odisha in 2017 and 2018 in partnership with Madhyam Foundation. Apart from monetary benefits, both men and women farmers save time and energy in each of the farming activities, giving them new opportunities to improve their livelihood and social well-being.