Keylong (Sept 26): Tribal Lahaul-Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh, known for quality seed potato production in North India, is likely to produce one lakh gunny bags of the crop.
District publicity officer Sher Singh said that farmers were already carrying their crop to markets in Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, and Mumbai. Farmers opt for seed potato from Lahaul owing to its resistivity to disease. Seed varieties like Kufri Chandramukhi and Kufri Jyoti are being grown in the tribal district and are harvested from April till October. The crop is fetching Rs 11 to 12 per kilogram in the market
The district’s produces around one lakh to 1.50 lakh bags annually while the production was around 116,000 bags (80 kilograms each) in year 2010-11 and 140,000 bags in 2009-10. The seed crop is also procured by Lohaul Seed Potato Cooperative Society, which further sells it to different market but now farmers are themselves venturing to market their produce.
The economy of the tribal district is highly dependent on potato,with around 2,000 farmers cultivating it over 900 hectares. Other cash crops in the district include peas, cauliflower and hops, besides fruit crops like apple, pear, apricot, almond and plum.