Expansion of late blight resistance potato farming stressed

RAJSHAHI, – Agricultural scientists and researchers have underscored the need for expansion of cultivation of late blight disease resistance potato varieties to get better production to meet up its gradually increasing demand, reports BSS.

Due to the adverse impact of climate change farming of different cash crops like potato is being infested with various diseases including late blight. So, promotion of innovated varieties and other technologies has become the demand of time to boost the cropping yield.

They came with the observation while addressing a farmers’ field day styled ‘Dissemination of Newly Released Late Blight Resistance Potato Varieties for Adoptability Study and Dissemination’ at Berabari village under Mohanpur Upazila of the district on Tuesday afternoon.

Regional Wheat Research Station (RWRS) and On Farm Research Division (OFRD) of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) organised the event in association with International Potato Centre (CIP).

Principal Scientific Officer of RWRS Dr Ilias Hossain attended and addressed the discussion as the chief guest with its Senior Scientific Officer Nure Alam Siddiqui in the chair.

Upazila Agriculture Officer Rahima Begum, RWRS Scientific Officer Zahidul Islam and farmer Shafiqul Islam also spoke. Taking part in the discussion, some farmers shared their farming experience of late blight resistance potato varieties in the area.

They told the visiting agricultural scientists and extension officials that they are cultivating the varieties without spraying pesticides. Its farming cost is lower by Taka 2,000 per every 33 decimals than other traditional varieties and got 35 tonnes yield rate per hectare this time.

Dr. Ilias Hossain said BARI has been expanding cultivation of its evolved late blight disease resistant BARI-46 and BARI-53 varieties of potato at the farmers’ levels in the country including the Rajshahi zone.

He said cultivation of these varieties are highly profitable and growing plants of these potato are resistant to various diseases like late blight and rotting and yield rates are higher than the other varieties.

Dr Hossain urged upon the attending farmers to bring more lands under the developed varieties to boost the potato production during the years to come.

He also called for innovation of more disease resistant crop varieties and adopting newer technologies to increase food yield through reducing use of chemical pesticides to keep environment clean.