Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is a kharif crop which gives its yield in 75-80 days. It plays an important role in the dietary food habits among the people of the Northeast region. It is a vegetable that is in the staple diet and is used in almost all dishes like salads, boiled, in major dishes as well as in deserts. It is also an important crop in the horticulture sector. Some of the best varieties of potato found in India are Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Giriraj. Potato the most common vegetable and it not only provides nutrition to the common man, but it is also used as food for cows and goats. This crop yields a lot of nutrition. Potato plays a very important role in providing the main support to the meals of the locals, next to pulses.
Salient Features :
- Potato is cultivated as an all year crop and can be easily cultivated locally by the Nur Bun Method, which is a modified Jhum and shifting cultivation method.
- Combined use of organic manure and inorganic fertilizers increases soil fertility and sustains the productivity of this crop.
- Integrated nutrient use also helps in maintaining the high levels of productivity and also soil fertility.
- Bio fertilizers have shown great promise in high potato yield.
- Vermicompost use has also helped greatly in the yield.
- Crop rotation of potatoes with other vegetables has also helped in increasing its production.
- Potatoes are used in dextrin and glucose. It is also used in the production of starch and alcohol.
- Potato starch (farina) is used in laundry industry and for sizing the yarn in textile mills.
Challenges Faced :
- Due to heavy rains in Northeast, weeding is a serious problem for potato crops. This can be controlled by cultural and mechanical methods.
- Late Blight of potato is the most dangerous disease of the region and comes as an epidemic in the region every year. This can be controlled by using disease resistant variety of potato seeds and by giving fungicide spray.
The scope of growing potato in the Northeast region is gradually becoming promising. Use of disease resistant potato seeds of high yield variety, improved crop management, practices of crop protection will result in an increase in productivity.