A commemorative postage stamp on the 50th Anniversary of the Potato Research in India :
Issued by India
Issued on Apr 1, 1985
Type : Stamp, Postal Used
Colour : Multi colour
Denomination : 50 Paise
Printed at : India Security Press
- The Potato is a native of the Andean tropical highlands of South America, from where it was taken to Europe in the sixteenth century by the Spanish conquistadors. Within the next 50 years it appears to have been brought to India by the Portuguese, or perhaps the Spanish. In an account of the travels through India during (1615-1617) Edward Terry–chaplin to Sir Thomas Roe, Ambassador of the East India Company to the Mughal Court, states that he found potato being grown “everywhere……..in the northern most parts of the Empire“.
- The root and tuber crops which include the potato, yams, arums, sweet potato and cassava constitute one of the most important foods of man alongwith rice, wheat, maize and millets. These plants can grow in a wide variety of conditions including marginal soils and produce the highest rates of dry matter, for each day that they grow in the field. They are rich in energy-giving carbohydrates and also in several essential minerals and vitamins. They are also used widely, particularly in Europe and North America, as an animal feed and in industry for making alcohol, sugars etc.
- During 1983-84, potato was grown in India in 806,000 ha and the production amounted to 12.25 million tonnes. The per hectare production came to 15.2 tonnes and the per caput production to about 15 kg per year. In 1950-51 the respective figures were, area: 2,40,000 ha; production 1.66 million tonnes; Yield: 6.9 tonnes/ha; and per caput production: 4.6 kg per year. Thus in the last 34 years potato has registered 3.4 fold increase in area, 7.4 fold increase in production, 2.2 fold increase in yield, and 3.3 fold increase in per caput production. This is indeed a most remarkable achievement. Today, potato is grown in almost all major States of India. Two thirds of the area under cultivation lies in the Indo-Gangetic plains covering mainly Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Bihar. These achievements have become possible due to the sustained accomplishments of potato research in the country.