SRINAGAR, JUNE 10: Director Agriculture Kashmir, Syed Altaf Aijaz Andrabi today said that Sitaharan village in Budgam is being developed as a potato seed village, because of its agro-climatic suitability and optimum ecological requirements for potato cultivation.

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Andrabi during a visit to Sitaharan and adjoining villages, said that potatoes on special lines has been cultivated in this village yielding better results.

The Director said that the need of the hour is to boost the high-quality potato seed production and expand it on commercial lines, with a view to develop alternative cropping system for economic empowerment of the farming community.

The Director revealed that in the first instance, the department has taken an area of 20 kanals under Seed village of Potato (Foundation Seed) wherein high-quality seed has been provided to the farmers on 100% subsidy and has been grown on scientific lines as a seed village. The department will procure the seed from the farmers and will be utilized for the next year and the farmers will get a reasonable income from the seeds.

He said that in future more areas will be brought under potato seed village programme. This will provide an alternative, profitable cropping system to the farmers and will be a way forward for their economic empowerment.

To promote and expand the area under potato seed production, Director stressed upon the concerned officers for inviting young and fresh minds and providing awareness and special training to them. He called for identifying and expanding the area under potato seed villages, like Kani Dajan in district Budgam which has already been adopted as Potato Seed Village on the National Map.

Later, Director Agriculture held an interaction with the farmers and gave a patient hearing to the problems being faced by them. During the discussion, farmers raised various demands before the Director and he assured them that their genuine demands will be redressed on priority.

The Director was accompanied by Chief Agriculture Officer Budgam Shabir Ahmad Allaqaband, District Agriculture Officer Budgam, Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer Beerwah and other concerned officers.

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