High Quality Potato Seed Arrives in Gilgit-Baltistan

06 Apr, 2012

Despite the prevailing security situation in Gilgit, the 2012 IKF’ Seed Program is underway.  In 2011, over 3500 farmers benefited from the distribution of certified wheat seed.  Given the better than expected results and overwhelmingly positive response from the Department of Agriculture and the beneficiaries, this year’s potato seed distribution, will positively impact 5000 of the neediest and most underprivileged farmers in the province.  In keeping with the IKF’s principle of providing life sustaining inputs to the rural poor, high quality varieties of disease free potato seed, including Kuroda, Asterix and Santee are being offered to the farmers, who are spread over all 7 districts of Gilgit-Baltistan.  So far, 500 farmers in the vicinity of Gilgit have received seed.

It is important to note that in addition to the obvious economic benefit of cultivating potato ( a premier cash crop in GB) to the farmer the IKF has anticipated numerous other development needs will be met as well.  For one,  the provision of free seed to the farmers results in a  40% drop in their expenses related to cultivation.  Secondly, the climate and terrain are ideal for potato cultivation.  As such, there will be a substantial multiplier effect in the long term whereby Gilgit-Baltistan may experience  a noticeable increase in the production of high quality potatoes.  Lastly, and perhaps most important, the IKF’s goal of giving its most underprivileged the ability to take ownership of their lives cannot be understated.  We will keep you abreast of any further developments in this regard.

Stay tuned for information regarding the upcoming seed distribution in 4 districts of Sindh.

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