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Potato Technology Centre in Haryana to come out with mini-tubers of new potato variety by Jan-end

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Chandigarh, Jan 14 (PTI) The Potato Technology Centre (PTC) in Haryana's Karnal district will come out with a new variety of potato mini-tubers, produced through a hi-tech technique, by the end of the month, people engaged in the process said.

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Since its inception seven years ago, the PTC has been catering to the demand of large quantity of disease-free planting material and introduction of new varieties.

The new variety, which will be out by the end of January, will be rich in zinc and iron.

These mini-tubers, which are used for the production of high-quality potatoes, are naturally bred, miniaturised seed potatoes and are produced in controlled, disease-free conditions using aeroponics technique.

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Aeroponic farming is a soil-less farming technique that grows more crops faster with limited use of water and other resources.

The aeroponics facility established at PTC, a government institute, is one of the largest in the country.

"The mini-tubers of a new variety called Kufri Uday, which is especially for north Indian plains, will prove to be a boon for the farmers," subject matter specialist, PTC, Shamgarh in Karnal, Jitender Singh, told PTI.

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The PTC Karnal campus is spread over 45 acres, with two sub-centres in Panipat and Kurukshetra.

He said micropropagation of culture tubes procured from the Shimla centre is conducted at the Karnal centre.

"We bring these culture tubes in our tissue culture lab. Then these are multiplied using techniques like aeroponics for production of high-quality mini tubers of potato seed.

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"In aeroponics technique, tubers formed per plant are many. We can also control their size whether we need up to three grams, five grams, seven grams and we can harvest it accordingly on daily basis which is not possible in the soil medium. Farmers can directly sow several thousand tubers per acre," Singh said.

"These are early generation potatoes. We make these for seed production," he said.

Singh said a potato expo is being held at the Karnal centre on January 15 and it will be inaugurated by Haryana's Agriculture Minister J P Dalal.

"In addition to Haryana and Punjab, farmers from other states, like Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, West Bengal, Bihar will also take part in the expo," he added. PTI SUN VSD TRB

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