India: Nilgai menace hits ‘sugar-free’ potato cultivation
Eight progressive farmers of Dumar Hata village under Hussainabad sub division of Palamu, who are cultivating sugar free potatoes in two acres of land, face invasion of the blue bulls called nilgai.
These farmers said the nilgai problem is too acute and severe. Nilgais come in herd of 50 to 60 in numbers and destroy crop and vegetables as well.
These farmers said this problem is beyond their control. The farmers have set up an organisation called Veer Kuarn Singh Krishak Sahkari Samiti limited.
A popular farmer of this organisation, Priya Ranjan Singh said farmers have raised fence around two acres of land where the sugar free potatoes are being raised. He said this is extra cost that the farmers are bearing.
He said seeds of the sugar free potatoes have been brought from Kufri in Shimla where there is a Central Potato Research Institution which supplies them.
A kilogram of seed of sugar free potato comes for Rs100, said Singh. He said farmers have brought in 350 quintal of the seeds of the sugar free potatoes.
Its cultivation is near identical to the cultivation of the paddy, he said.
Sources said potatoes are the fourth most consumable crop in Northern India after paddy wheat and maize.
Singh said farmers were in Barabanki in UP for the seeds of peppermint there where our farmers learnt of the seeds of the sugar free potatoes.
Singh said this sugar free potatoes will be consumed by them and a good chunk of it will be preserved for the seeds next season so that our dependence on Kufri in Shimla gets over.