By The Editor

Science and technology are very crucial in agricultural production because by using good seeds along with manure, crops can grow better and yield also is more. Application of scientific technique is highly essential as population increases and land for farming decreases. Technology is the application of science in human activities which changes the material world to fulfill our needs. Science and technology therefore can no longer be evaded but to be exploited beneficially in different sectors including agriculture. Though about three-quarters of Meghalaya’s population are engaged in agriculture and allied activities yet it has to depend for much of its needs on import from outside the state since local production cannot meet all the requirements. Besides, the quality of agricultural produce is also not up to the mark since many farmers are still clinging to the old traditional system. Hence scientific farming is the need of the hour and for which farmers ought to acquire knowledge and skill through training which authorities are to take into consideration in planned manner.

Potato is an important crop of the state and is a rich source of starch (carbohydrate) content which provides energy. It has little protein but good quantity of vitamins C and some minerals which the human body needs. Tissue Culture Lab at Bio Resource Development Centre (BRDC) in Upper Shillong is engaged in producing good potato seeds necessary for better yield and quality potatoes which are in demand across the state. Farmers who adopt these quality seeds have been very happy because of abundant harvest they derive. Recently on May 17 the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma and Agriculture Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh inspected the BRDC and the Kyrdemkhla net house not far from Upper Shillong to check on potato seed production programme. Sangma and Lyngdoh were quite impressed with the state government pilot project for benefit of progressive farming. According to Harpreet Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), the Northeastern states have high potential in agriculture.

At Kyrdemkhla Integrated Village Cooperative Society (IVCS) there was interaction with farmers who have switched over to scientific technique and are very satisfied with the results. The project titled, “Seed Secure Meghalaya: Establishment of low cost formal and informal potato seed production to enhance food security and income generation”, aims to increase potato seed production and cultivation in the state and  market the high yielding varieties of potato to markets across the Northeastern  region and beyond. It is to be noted that seeds are important basic component of agriculture. Under the project, 150 farmers received Kufri Jyoti and Himalini varieties, another 500 trained on integrated seed health management and storage, two tissue culture labs with capacity of one lakh tissue culture plants and 15,146 hectare area mapped for potato production.