Pakistan is one of the major potatoes producing countries in the world. Potato ranks third among food crops and fifth in total agro-products in Pakistan. The total production of potatoes was 3.492 million tons in 2010-11. The domestic demand of potato is 1.5 million tons, leaving a surplus quantity of 1.992 million tons, thus creating an opportunity for private sector to export potato and make value addition. Pakistan is the major exporter of Potato to Afghanistan, Srilanka, Malysia, Iran, Singapore and Russia. The climatic conditions in some Districts Chitral, Upper Dir and Mansehra at high altitude are highly suitable for seed potato production with a seasonal compatibility with lower plains i.e. seed produced in October; after passing through the dormancy period of two months, can be used as seed for spring crop in the down Districts.
In addition to several other factors, the potato growers mostly depend on seed provided by the local inputs suppliers, commission agents and traders from Peshawar/Punjab. The quality of seed available to the local farmers objected due to diseased, not true-to type and sometimes use ration potato from Punjab as seed; which are good carrier of certain viruses and diseases. To fill this gap, ASF supported and awarded Matching Grants on Seed potato production on commercial basis, which included organization of FEGs, provision of improved seed and imparting of Training on Enterprise Development. In Peshawar region, 375 members of 25 FEGs successfully raised the seed potato crop and marketed collectively, earning about 80% higher than the local seed.
|This Year (2013)
|Last Year (2012)
Muhammad Farooq a 50 years old FEG (Friends) member from Village Bonse in Batakundi (Naraan) area of District Mansehra in Peshawar Region is associated with potato production for the last 10 years. Like other FEG members he received 500 kg of Potato seed (Rakko) from the Project and training on Entrepreneurship, bringing a land of 05 kanals under potato cultivation. To undertake various activities like land preparation, sowing, weeding, earthling up, fertilizer application irrigation, harvesting, grading, packing and then marketing, took him to cost Rs. 180,933 per 05 acre. His activity provided full time jobs to 02 self-employees. The yield and price for this year production were found 42% and 52% higher than the last year, respectively, which resulted 178% higher net income as compared to the last year.
I am very Happy to state that I have a bumper crop this year mainly because of the improved seed provided by ASF. It gave me almost double production as compared to the previous seasons. Now I am in a position to retain these improved seed for the next crop in addition to the very high return through which I can start other business during winter.
I am very thankful to the ASF for their kind support making me able to establish my own entrepreneurship