Jammu & Kashmir: Gool farmers up-beat about farming of sugar free potato

GOOL: To distract farmers from traditional farming and attract them towards modern, integrated and lucrative farming to enhance their income, the Agriculture Department has introduced various cash crops across the district Ramban.

In Jamman village of Gool, Shahnawaz Ahmed and Fayaz Ahmed, the two brothers are up-beat about the cultivation of organic sugar free potato sponsored under the centrally sponsored ‘Seed Village’ scheme.

Shunning the traditional farming, in May this year they had jointly sown in their 5 kanal land, 2.45 qtl of “Kufri Himani’ potato seed provided free by the Department of Agriculture, in its first ever initiative in Gool tehsil of Ramban district.

Now they are hopeful that even after returning the 2.45 qtl of produced potato seed to the Agriculture department as agreed upon mutually under the scheme, a good quantity of potato seed will be spared when it is harvested in September/October, which would accrue them a good profit.

The characteristic of this Potato is that it has less sugar content, has prolific production of 12 or 13 qtl per kanal, has good shelf life and is available in market in the off-season that is in October/November unlike the local potato which is available in market in August/September.

Given its profitability and the government support other local farmers too have started preferring it over the traditional farming of maize cultivation.

According to the Agriculture Extension Officer, Gool, Dharamveer Singh, another local farmer, Mustoor Ahmed has been given 95 KG of Kufri Jyoti potato seed which has productivity ratio of 10 qtl per kanal. Its longer shelf life makes it a better marketable and storable vegetable thereby reducing its storage problem, he added.