Training Workshop on "Smart Potato Cultivation and Strategies for Value Chain Development"

PMAS-AAUR Department of Horticulture in collaboration with research and Industrial Partners organized a three days (Aug.30 to Sep.1, 2021) training workshop on "Smart Potato Cultivation and Strategies for Value Chain Development".

Renowned Potato Scientists and industrial representatives from Potato Research Institute Sahiwal, Hazara Agriculture Research institute, Potato Breeding substation Murree, Aceto America, Ismail Industries and Beacon House group delivered their scientific talks and real-life field experiences on potato cultivation in different regions of Pakistan. Strengths, weaknesses and issues faced by the growers and industry were discussed in detail.

Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Director General Ayub Agriculture Research Institute Faisalabad and Dr. Abid Mahmood, Chief executive PARB grace the occasion with their presence and shared their valuable thoughts. Prof. Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman, Vice Chancellor, in his address, emphasized to develop a strong academia, Research and industry linkages.

As a take home message it was identified by the experts that farmers are facing problems due to unavailability of quality seed, high Input costs, an adequate storage facilities and market price fluctuations. It was further discussed that precision agriculture could be an alternative for a sustainable, cost effective and environmentally friendly Production system for potato cultivation. In order to meet the workshop objectives stockholders strongly agreed to constitute a much needed partnership for the resolution of seed, storage and price factors on serious grounds. It was concluded that smart cultivation is the need of the time and due to limitation in labor availability agriculture mechanization is becoming inevitable. The DDSDP project team demonstrated their strengths and initial work towards the mechanization in potato cultivation and further stressed that this work can be a way forward for future prospects.

Organizer of the training workshop, Dr. Muhammad Azam Khan, Chairman Horticulture Department thanked the participants, scientist and industrial partners for sparing their time to make this event meaningful in order built a strong future collaboration.