KARNATAKA

Farmers interact with experts

Discussion: Sukhjit Singh, president of the growers’ association, Punjab, interacting with farmers at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Hassan on Monday.

Discussion: Sukhjit Singh, president of the growers’ association, Punjab, interacting with farmers at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Hassan on Monday.  

Staff Correspondent

HASSAN: Dr. Kung, scientist from the National Potato Research Institute, Shimla, has advised farmers not to use the Atlanta and ‘1533’ seed potato varieties as they are prone to Blight. He said that in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, 35 per cent of the crop had been destroyed by Blight this year. He said these two varieties of tubers were banned in Punjab.

Dr. Kung was addressing farmers/traders at a meeting organised by Deputy Commissioner Naveen Raj Singh in his chambers on Monday evening.

He said farmers in Hassan district were using seed potato from Punjab that was not tested since 25 years. “We cannot say whether it is disease-free or not. Seeds supplied by Pepsico and Indian Tobacco Company are also susceptible to Blight. These two companies supply seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to farmers and also purchase their produce,” he added. Hassan district grows potato on 50,000 hectares.

Dr. Kung said the only way to prevent Blight was to spray 800 grams of pesticide mixed in 400 litres of water.

Sukhjit Singh, president of the growers’ association, Punjab, said there were good quality seeds available in Punjab, but farmers in Hassan were not ready to purchase them as they were expensive.

Farmer leaders Vijaya Kumar, Kanagal Murthy and others demanded that scientists declare seeds that were supplied to farmers as disease-free and in case of disease, they should tell farmers how to tackle the situation. They also sought compensation in case of crop failure.

They said that 1 lakh quintals of seed potato sent from Punjab had already been sown in Gandsi, Dudda and Chennaraypatna.

The Deputy Commissioner said giving compensation and certification of seeds was a matter of Government policy and that scientists could not decide on the issue.

Zilla panchayat chief executive officer S. Shankaranarayana was present.

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