Dutch to set up two centres, help potato, dairy sector

The Netherlands will set up two centres in the field of post harvesting for potato crop and dairy sector in Punjab to help farmers enhance the yield.

"One Centre of Excellence (COE) will be set up in Punjab for post harvesting of potato crop and second COE will be for dairy sector (genetic and animal health)," the Netherlands Counsellor for Agriculture Nature and Food Quality, Arie Veldhuizen, said on Saturday.

These two COE are expected to be established by next year, he said.

"The main objective of setting up COE is to better the production and yield. We will showcase our technology in these centres and see how we can help Indian farmers in improving yield," he said here on the sidelines of AgroTech.

"The officials and experts from the Netherlands will hold a meeting with Punjab government officials and progressive farmers tomorrow here to work out the modalties for setting up the COE for potato," an official of Punjab Horticulture department said here.

"Dutch can help Punjab potato growers in handling, storage and processing of potato crop," state official said adding that assistance could also sought from Netherlands experts to prevent increase in sugar content in stored potato crop.

Punjab is a major producer of seed potato crop with annual output of 21 lakh tonne, covering 80,000 hectares of area under cultivation. Part of the Indo-Dutch Joint Agriculture Working Group, Netherlands plans to set up 8 such COEs across the country.

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