Revival of Hirpora potato variety, after success in seed identification

Shopian: The indigenous Hirpora patato may witness a comeback in future after scientists in SK Agriculture University of Science and technology (SKAUST) have identified the seed and multiplication process.

The potato which was known throughout valley and outside for its taste and crunch disappeared from the area from the past decade with a hand full of farmers now opting to grow this red potato.
According to scientists of SKAUST the reason for its disappearance were a low produce and diseases that almost made the potato face extinction, besides switch to other cultivations.

Dr Bilal Ahmad Pandith, a senior SKAUST scientist posted at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Balpora who is deputed for the research and revival of this red patato variant told Kashmir Reader that the research on its multiplication and identification of this potato so far have been a success.

“We produced 10 Quintals of seed from last one year and the seed was distributed it among growers and SKAUST for research purposes,” he said.

Once revived the Hirpora red potato according to scientists would be an economy booster for the area since by character this potato it grows well at the high altitude and mountainous like Hirpora and its adjacent areas like Dochnu and Sedow.

Dr Pandith added that the challenges of low produce are also being considered in this revival programme.
After its decline it was replaced by Kufri Joti, Kufri Sindoori and Kufri Himali but these brands failed to compete with the Hirpora potato.

He said that the programme was formally started a year and it will take some more years to know all the challenges, diseases and the area’s best for growing of this potato brand.

In Hirpora belt only few farmers grow this potato mostly for their own consumption as a low produce and to diseases. Many however, believe that plantation of other vegetables and fruit trees are also the reason for its decline.

However, according to experts that this potato variety is considered tastiest and retains its firmness even after cooking.
Dr Pandit said that the potato brands tastes more like mutton and it does not have a sweet taste a reason why other variants prevalent in the market are disliked,” Dr Pandit added.

Currently the Hirpora potato is being sold Rs 60 a kilogram which quite high than the other potatoes imported in the states.

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