In a significant move towards agricultural self-reliance, the Agriculture department of Kolkata has set an ambitious target of achieving complete self-sufficiency in potato seed production by 2030. The decision was made during a high-level meeting at Nabanna, chaired by Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay, the Minister in charge of the Agriculture department. Kolkata aims to put an end to importing potato seeds from Punjab, aligning with the vision of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
With technical expertise provided by the International Potato Centre (CIP), Kolkata plans to produce 100% virus-free potato seeds. The state is embracing a new method called the ‘root cutting dispense’ system, guided by CIF’s knowledge, to accelerate production. This method, ideal for colder regions, will be implemented in places like Darjeeling, Kalimpong, and nearby areas for optimal seed production. To support this initiative, the state government has allocated Rs 36 crore for seed production. Notably, this endeavor seeks to address the existing gap between the demand for high-quality potato seeds in the state and the current production levels.
Kolkata has been utilizing tissue culture techniques at Anandpur under Keshpur block in West Midnapore and in Nadia district to produce high-quality potato seeds. However, these efforts have fallen short of meeting the state’s requirements, necessitating imports. The collaboration with CIP and the adoption of advanced methods are expected to bridge this gap and bolster the state’s agricultural self-sufficiency.
In related news, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is gearing up for peaceful protest programs in New Delhi against the alleged withholding of state dues by the Centre. The TMC plans to conduct similar events across different parts of West Bengal, ensuring wide coverage of their demonstrations. TMC leaders and MGNREGA job card holders are set to participate in these protests, highlighting their concerns and demands.
The state’s proactive approach in agriculture, coupled with political activism advocating for its rights, reflects Kolkata’s determination to secure a prosperous and self-reliant future. By investing in innovative agricultural practices and asserting its demands on the national stage, Kolkata is poised for a transformative journey towards self-sufficiency and growth.