Potato (Solanum tuberosum) annual plant of Solanaceae family grown for edible tubers. Potato consumption in Pakistan is showing an upward trend, now annual per capita intake is over 16kg. Apart from some subsistence growers in the north, most Pakistani farmers produce for urban markets rather than household consumption, and the potato has become a significant source of rural income.
Potato Production Areas
Punjab: Okara, Depalpur, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, Basirpur, Arifwala, Daska, Kasur, Gujranwala, Shiekhupura.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Nowshera, Mardan, Sawabi, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Swat.
Baluchistan: Kalat, Pishin, Ziarat, Kila Saifullah, Loralai, Quetta.
Land requirement and preparation
Potato crop requires good fertile soil which should have a proper drainage system. Soil organic matter should not be less than 1.5. For better germination of potato crop plough soil with mold bold plough and two to three-time plough the land with the cultivator to pulverize the soil. It grows best on sandy loamy soils having PH 6 – 7.5.
For autumn crop seed rate is 1200 – 1500 kg. Tuber size should be of egg size. Spring and summer crop seed rate is500 – 600kg. The tubers should be cut into pieces and each piece should have two eyes. 50 – 60-gram weight or 50 – 60 mm seed should be used.
For sprouting of tubers, better germination and early maturity. Tubers are spread in a thin layer in a cool place and exposed to diffused light. Seed Treatment is very important to protect plants from diseases i.e. Rhizoctonia solani or any other; The tubers are dipped in 1% thiourea solution for 1 hour before planting. This treatment is given to break the dormancy of the tubers when they are to be used before the resting period of the tubers when they are to be used before the resting period of 2.5 to 3 months.
Autumn Crop: 15 Sep. to 15 Nov. crop sown in this time require temperature 20 to 25*c at germination
Spring Crop: 1st Jan. to 15 Feb. Crop sown at this time not suitable for seed production.
Summer Crop: 1st April to 30 June.
Method of Sowing
Sowing of potato is done in furrows. Row to row distance should be 60 – 75 cm and plant to plant distance should be 20 cm. Seed depth should be 7 – 10 cm. egg size seed is best for seed purpose.
Potato Fertilizer requirement
12-15-ton FYM per acre should be added before 45 – 60 days of sowing crop. Before applying chemical fertilizer land test should perform to check the fertility level of the soil. N = 100 kg P = 50 kg K = 50 kg zinc sulphate (21%) =10 kg
First irrigation is done immediately after sowing. Water should not be over the furrows otherwise germination will be affected. Water should remain 2/3 of furrows. Then water should apply with 7 – 10 days of interval.
Varieties of Potato
- Faisalabad White
- Faisalabad Red
- LADY ROSETTA –RED
- Trianthema portulacastrum
- Phalaris minor
- Avena fatua
- Chenopodium album
- Dectyloctenum aegyptium
- Rumex dentatus etc.
Weeds control can be done through manually (hoing), mechanically or chemically by using different chemicals recommended by experts.
- Late Blight of Potato
- Early blight of Potato
- Fusarium Wilt
- Common Scab
- Stem Canker
- Potato Leaf Roll Virus
These diseases are controlled by using healthy seed. Proper seed treatment with chemicals. The diseased plant should be rooted up.
- Potato tuber moth
- Helicoverpa Armigera American Caterpillar
Control by using resistant varieties. Using light traps. Pest scouting should also be done for better control of insects. Different insecticides are also used for the control of insects.
Cut the above-ground spreading 10 to 15 days before harvesting so that potato skin become hard and should not spoil during cold storage. Air circulation is necessary during storage [1-6].
Potato is poor man food in Pakistan and every farmer can get yield up to 200 monds per acre using this production technology.
There needed great research work on potato to achieve better results.