Potato

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; it is high yielding, having a high nutritive value and gives high returns to farmers.

The recent large increase in acreage was reached by an intensification of the cultivation in existing potato growing areas, as well as by introduction of the crop in new areas and to inexperienced farmers. Hence, many problems, like diseases and pests, became more hazardous and a large number of farmers are lacking knowledge of the right cultivation technique. These include pests and disease control, land preparation and irrigation, fertilizer application, crop rotation and multi-cropping techniques. The lack of credit facilities to purchase inputs creates difficulties, in particular for small farmers, inhibiting their effort to raise productivity.

Provincial Shares in Area and production

Punjab, Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan respectively account for 86, 0.5, 9 and 4.5 percent of the total area and 88.3, 0.3, 7.2 and 4.2 percent of the production of potatoes in the country.

The shares of autumn, spring and summer crops in the annual production are estimated at 75, 10 and 15 percent, respectively.

Important Potato Growing Districts of Pakistan

Punjab: Okara, Sahiwal, Kasur, Sialkot, Sheikhupura, Jhang, Lahore, Narowal, Pak pattan, Gujranwala, T.T. Singh and Khanewal.

KPK: Nowshera, Dir, Swat, 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.

Growth Stages

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

Vegetative Growth

  • Leaves and branch stems develop from above ground nodes along emerged sprouts.
  • Roots and stolons develop at below ground nodes.
  • Photosynthesis begins.

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.

Tuber Initiation-1

  • Tuber cells expand with the accumulation of water, nutrients and carbohydrates.
  • Tuber becomes the dominant site for deposition of carbohydrates and mobile inorganic nutrients.

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.

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