Business

Bid to Reduce Reliance on Imported Potatoes

Programme to research on different varieties of potatoes and to provide storage facilities MINFO NEWS As part of efforts to reduce Fiji’s reliance on imported potatoes and strengthen locally grown
25 Jul 2014 08:45

Programme to research on different varieties of potatoes and to provide storage facilities
MINFO NEWS

As part of efforts to reduce Fiji’s reliance on imported potatoes and strengthen locally grown varieties, Government organised a ‘Potato Day’ in Sigatoka yesterday.
The event was held at Faizal Khan’s farm at Sovi Bay along the Coral Coast.
This event is held in Sigatoka with the aim of re-introducing the Red Pontiac variety to farmers which is to be planted during this potato planting season.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s senior agriculture officer (Potato Management), Mohammed Kadir Khan, said this year 10 tonnes of Red Pontiac variety of seed potato was imported from Queensland, Australia to be planted mainly in the Western Division.
Red Pontiac variety was grown in Fiji from the 1860s up until the 1990s.
“It has been confirmed through research that Red Pontiac is the proven variety for Fiji’s climate,” he said.
“It can grow well in the country and is a high yielding variety producing around 10 to 12 tonnes per hectare.”
During the past four years, farmers were growing temperate varieties imported from New Zealand such as Red Rascal, Ivory Crisp, Illam Hardy, Nadeem and Rocket which produced about four to seven tonnes per hectare.
This year, the Ministry introduced the Potato Research and Development which is a five year programme that will be conducting research on different varieties of potatoes and to provide storage facilities for our local farmers.
“Currently we have 42 varieties from Peru at our Tissue Culture Laboratory and five varieties from Queensland on trial at Sigatoka and Koronivia Research Station,” Mr Khan said.
“These varieties will be tested and the best ones will be chosen to be grown in Fiji.”
Mr Khan said yesterday’s programme would promote food security by supplying seeds locally and reduce Fiji’s reliance on imported potatoes.
Feedback: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj
ALSO READ
MH Warehouse Sale >P12




Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper