NAFTC-India with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands, New Delhi & Wageningen University & Research organized workshops in the month of December 2016 at two locations. The first location was the Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 14th December 2016 & the second one was Chandigarh, Punjab on 16th December 2016. The workshop was an awareness event aimed at sharing the results of the trials in India for past four years under Potato PPS Project. The project was undertaken by Wageningen University and was supported by NAFTC-India in its execution. Three experts from WUR were present during the workshops to brief the study results & to discuss certain issues related to the potato crop & industry. The topics of discussion were:

Annette Pronk: Variety Registration & Seed Certification- STEPS TO BE TAKEN
Bas Janssens: Cost/Benefit analysis- Potato cropping
Sicko de Vries: Potato storage – quality & storage losses

The participants/audiences at both the venues included Government officials, farmers, processing industry, farmers associations, cold storage owners, seed potato industry etc.

Gandhinagar, Gujarat: 14th December 2016- Hotel Fortune Inn Haveli, Gandhinagar

The event was chaired by Dr. R.A. Sherasia, Director of Horticulture, Government of Gujarat. In his inaugural speech Dr. Sherasia focused on the changes in potato industry in Gujarat in past 5 years & how the farmers of Gujarat are accepting the changes & new technologies. He briefed with data how important is potato as a crop for the state of Gujarat & requested the delegation from WUR to discuss about planning a Centre of Excellence on Potato in the state.

The participants were quite open to the discussion with the experts and the major issue that was taken during the session was the requirement of new storage technology & how it will be beneficial for the investors. The participants from the industry includes McCain, Simplot, Omnivent, Mooij, HZPC, Bayer & some big farmers and cold storage owners.

Chandigarh, Punjab: 16th December 2016- Hotel JW Marriott, Chandigarh

The workshop was chaired by Dr. S K Chakrabarti, Director-Central Potato Research Institute. In his speech & the time in the workshop he was quite active and open for the discussion on the subjects related to the seed potatoes, registration of foreign varieties, certification & export potential of seed potatoes from India to the neighbouring countries. Dr. Chakrabarti was also the part of the discussion with the WUR delegation on 13th December 2016 at ICAR, New Delhi.

The major issue that was discussed in the workshop day was the registration of foreign varieties of seed potatoes in India & how to make the process of registration more easy & smooth. The participants include MHZPC, HZPC, Siddhivinayak, POSCON, JPGA, McCain, Simplot & ITC. Mr. Davinder Singh from MZPC presented on the “Current issues being faced by Seed Potato growers in Punjab &   possible options as solutions”.

The other topics that were discussed during the workshop include:

Seed & varieties
The Indian seed potato system includes: many registered varieties/a well-organized certification system/a financial breeder right system by year 2025.

Economics
The Indian potato value chain will be totally bag-less by year 2035

Storage
The Indian potato cold store design and management is completely based upon the “advanced system” by year 2030

Overall both the workshop days were quite successful and the kind of discussion that was expected from the groups happened. WUR will soon be formulating the recommendations on the basis of the discussions & it will be shared with CPRI for their input. Dr. Chakrabarti assured the delegation that the recommendations followed by the workshops will be taken to the ICAR for further discussions.

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