Bhubaneswar: Odisha has decided to implement a Potato Mission from fiscal 2015-16 to make the state in the tuber.
“Potato Mission will be implemented from 2015-16 to make the state self-sufficient in potato production and storage over a period of three years,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after reviewing the production of the tuber in the state.
He said the government will continue to give capital subsidy for new cold storages as per the agricultural policy of 2013 adding that it is also considering subsidising power tariff for existing and new cold storages till 31 March 2018.
The government will also incentivize potato seed and crop production within the state for the next three years. It will also maintain a buffer stock to deal with short-term scarcity situation, he said.
The government decided to create a buffer stock of 30,000 tonne of potato in 2015.
It had constituted a task force to find out permanent solution for the recurring potato crisis. The government has accepted road map given by the task force for production, preservation and distribution of potato.
The state government has set a target to increase area under potato cultivation to 60,000 hectares by 2017-18 against the present production over 15,000 hectares.
While the present production of potato is 2 lakh tonne, the government aims to increase it to 11.25 lakh tonne by 2017-18, said an official of agriculture department.
Similarly, it has decided to increase the potato seed production to 1.20 lakh tonne. The government also decided to build 122 cold storages by 2017-18. The state presently has 24 cold storages.
The government will extend crop insurance coverage to all blocks of the state by spending Rs. 583.58 crore in next six years. Rs. 300 crore will be allocated for the crop insurance under state plan.