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Cultivation of potatoes in Pakistan ?

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INTRODUCTION: Over the years, potato has become an important crop for both farmers and consumers in Pakistan. It is the fourth most important crop by volume of production and it gives high yields and high returns to farmers. Potato having a high nutritive value and these contributes more protein and iron than other vegetables in the average diet and are also useful sources of thiamine, niacin and several other nutrients including fiber. Almost 86% of potato area and production of Pakistan is achieved from Punjab i.e. Okra, Sahiwal, Kasur, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Jhang, Narowal, Pak patten, Gujranwala, T.T Singh, Khanewal and Lahore. Remaining share is produced by KPK 9%, Baluchistan 4.5% and Sindh 0.5%. Pakistan is self-sufficient in potatoes for household consumption. Important Potato Growing Districts Pakistan: Punjab: Okara, Sahiwal, anwala, Kasur, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Jhang, Lahore Narowal, Pak pattan, Gujr T.T. Singh. KPK: SNowshera, Dwat, Balakot, Sakardu and Mansehra. Baluchistan: Pishin, Killa Saifulla and Kalat. Gilgit Bultistan: Gilgit these are the important potato growing districts, accounting among themselves for 78 percent of the total production of the crop. NUTRICIUOS VALUE Potato is a tasty, nutritive and highly digestible vegetable with 75 per cent water contents. One hundred grams of potato possesses 22g carbohydrate, two gram protein, 90 kilocalories energy, 13mg calcium, 17mg vitamin C, 11mg riboflavin 1.2 mg niacin and traces of certain other minerals and fiber. Potato is eaten intensively in a variety of forms such as boiled, baked, and cooked. As vegetable it is eaten alone as well as mixed with other vegetables and as snacks, the most popular of them being the finger chips. It has medical significance also. GROWTH STAGES: a. Sprout Development • Sprout development from eyes on seed tubers and grow upward to emerge from the soil. • Roots begin to develop at the base of emerging sprout.

b. Vegetative Growth • Leaves and branch stems develop from aboveground nodes along emerged sprouts. • Roots and stolons develop at below ground nodes. • Photosynthesis begins c. Tuber Initiation • Tubers form at stolon tips but are not yet appreciably enlarging. • In most cultivars the end of this stage coincides with early flowering. d. Tuber Initiation • Tuber cells expand with the accumulation of water, nutrients and carbohydrates.
• Tuber becomes the dominant site for deposition of carbohydrates and mobile inorganic nutrients. e. Maturation • Vines turn yellow and lose leaves, photosynthesis decreases tuber growth slows and vines eventually die. • Tubers dry matter content reaches a maximum and tuber skins set. CLIMATE: Potato is grown under temperate, subtropical and tropical conditions. It is essentially a "cool weather crop", with temperature being the main limiting factor on production. Optimum temperature for germination, vegetative growth and tuber formation in potato is 25°C, 20°C and 16-24°C respectively.
VARIETIES: Red and white skin potato varieties are cultivated in the country. The white skin varieties are Santé, Multan, and Diamantes. SOIL: The potato can be grown almost on any type of soil except saline and alkaline soils. Naturally loose soils which offer the least resistance enlargement of the tubers are preferred and loamy and sandy loam soils that are rich in organic matter with good drainage and aeration is most suitable. . LAND PREPARATION Potato is propagated vegetative. Well decomposed farm yard manure at 200-250 mounds per acre is recommended to be incorporated in the soil before land preparation. SOWING METHOD for autumn and summer sowing potatoes complete potato is used. Potato tubers about one week before sowing are taken out from cold storage and spread at a cool and ventilated place usually under the shade of a tree. PLANTING TIME Potatoes are easy to grow, but they prefer cool weather so you should try to get them into the ground at the right time. The time for plantation of autumn crop, which contributes more than 70% of the total yield, starts. Typical Potato Crop Irrigation Schedule Nau hero Firoz Sindh Pakistan

DISEASES: The Potato crop in Pakistan is affected by many pests and diseases. From these diseases potato viruses, powdery scab, potato cyst nematode, aphids and white grub are the most damaging ones. Surveys done by Pakistani workers have revealed that viruses, powdery scab and aphids are wide wide spread, white grub are serious problems in the northern hilly areas. a. FUNGAL DISEASES I. Black Scurf (Rhizoctonia solani) Black Scurf is a fungal disease of potatoes and is caused by Rhizoctonia solani. It is usually found as irregular, black, scab-like marks on the skin of the tubers. They are easily scraped off with a fingernail and this releases a distinctive 'fungal' smell. These black masses are the resting phase of the organism and are made up of compacted mycelia, called sclerotia. They do not spoil the flesh of the tubers and they are still edible; also the sclerotia do not become any larger during storage.

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