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KVK-Gurez facilitates Producer-Purchaser Interface

BANDIPORA: In a significant move initiated at the behest of Vice Chancellor SKUAST-Kashmir, Prof. Nazir Ahmed Ganai and aimed at increasing the income of potato growers by providing market to them, KVK-Gurez facilitated a Producer-Purchaser interface of PepsiCo India Ltd. with the potato growers of Gurez valley.

Dr. Bilal Ahmed Bhat, Head KVK-Gurez and Mountain Agriculture and Extension Research Station (MARES) Izmarg, Gurez said that, a team of PepsiCo India Ltd. comprising of Dr. Santosh Tiwari, Associate Director (Agro R&D) looking after the affairs of company in Asia, Middle East and South Africa; Dr. Krishna Mohania, Manager (Agro R&D) taking care of the company's affairs in Central, South, West and North India along with Dr. Sharbat Hussain, Fruit Scientist at Division of Fruit Science, SKUAST-K have been camping at the Research station of the University for the last three days.

He said, PepsiCo India Ltd this year has laid out research trials of different varieties suitable for making Potato Chips at the research station of university (MARES). The company will then evaluate the performance of different varieties and will come out with the variety most suitable for this region to be provided to the farming community of the region with a buy back arrangement.

Dr. Parveen Kumar, SMS (Ag. Extension) further said that the company has been directly working with farming communities in different countries providing them both inputs as well as an assured market of their produce.

He said, Valley of Gurez is a hub of potato production and the potato produced in this valley finds a place at the national level.

In this regard, KVK-Gurez facilitated an interface of the visiting officials of PepsiCo India Ltd. with potato growers from different villages of this region to have firsthand knowledge of the different varieties grown here and the cultivation practices the growers follow, he added.

Dr. Shahnawaz Dar SMS (Plant Protection) and Dr. Omar SRF-NICRA deliberated with the growers on the insect pest infestations and diseases that affect the yield of the potato crop and conveyed it to the visiting officials so that the company can also take care of this issue also.

At MARES, the team PepsiCo India Ltd was assisted by Dr. Nazir Ahmed SMS (Animal Science), Dr. Mudasir Magray, Jr. Scientist (Veg. Science) and the technical and supporting staff in lying out of various trials.

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