GUWAHATI, June 26 - The State Government has decided to put added emphasis on cultivation of potato, strawberry and vegetables under the Centrally-sponsored Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (Horticulture) as it seeks to achieve the target of doubling farmers� income by 2022.
Officials told this newspaper that under RKVY (Horticulture), potato demonstration was taken up during this crop year in 1,021 hectares. �This year, two new varieties of potato were given to the farmers � Kufri Pokhraj and Kufri Khyati. The yield of these two varieties was found to be much more than the traditionally used varieties.
In formal crop cutting experiments conducted in Morigaon district, the yield was estimated at 23,700 kg per hectare, which is more than the yield estimated in �Package of Practices� of Assam Agriculture University which is 16,000 KG per hectare,� said an official.
He said that the average productivity of potato in the State is 6,685 kg per hectare.
�Hence, it may be estimated that approximately 13,000 MT of potato will be additionally harvested this year only because of changing variety in 1,021 hectares. The new varieties are becoming popular among the farmers because of their higher yield,� said the official.
During the 2014-15 crop year, potato was grown in 1,04,521 hectares in the State with a total production of 7.83 lakh MT and an average yield of 7,498 kg per hectare. In 2015-16, the area under potato fell to 1,03,812 hectares and production was 6.94 lakh MT with an average yield of 6,685 kg per hectare.
Sources said that with new varieties and more thrust on the crop, in 2016-17, the estimated area under cultivation has gone up to 1,05,875 hectares with a total production of over 10.58 lakh MT. Average productivity is also estimated to have gone up to 9,995 kg per hectare.
Sources said the Department of Horticulture and Food Processing has also implemented RKVY (Horticulture) in 2,520 hectares for vegetables and 79.5 hectares for strawberry respectively.
��Strawberry, which is a high-value crop, is being introduced in the State for cultivation with guidance from departmental officials. It has been found to be accepted by the farmers. One plant is found to yield around 300 gm of fruit with a market value of Rs 120 to Rs 400 per kg.� Several farmers in different localities of the State have lately taken up commercial cultivation of strawberry,� said Mowsam Hazarika, Assistant Director of Agriculture (Horticulture, Crop Insurance & FMC).