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Late blight resistant potato variety Sarpo Mira gaining popularity in Bangladesh

Late blight resistant potato variety Sarpo Mira gaining popularity in Bangladesh

The potato variety Sarpo Mira is highly resistant to late blight. Originally bred in Hungary, the Danish potato company Danespo has introduced the variety to Bangladesh in 2011.
Sarpo Mira is currently offered in Bangladesh by Giant Agro Processing Ltd (GAPL).

The potato variety Sarpo Mira, highly resistant to late blight, is getting popular among farmers in the main potato-growing areas of Bangladesh, due to its higher output, said farmers and officials.

Potato growers can get 38-42 percent more output at considerably 20 percent lower costs by cultivating the late blight resistant potato variety Sarpo Mira, they said.

Giant Agro Processing Ltd (GAPL), a sister concern of Giant Group, imported and developed the seeds for local farmers, said its officials in a recent field visit in Thakurgaon.

Four varieties were imported by Giant Agro Processing Ltd in 2011 from Denmark-based Danespo under a joint venture (JV) in a DANIDA (Danish International Development Agency) B2B- supported programme.

After trials by the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), two varieties -- Sarpo Mira (BARI Alu-77) and Folva -- were approved by the government of Bangladesh, said Business Development Manager of Giant Agro Processing Ltd ATM Majharul Mannan.

Majharul Mannan, Business Development Manager of Giant Agro Processing Ltd:

"The two inbreed varieties have been showing excellent result in terms of per hectare yield, size, quality and production cost in the northern districts.”

“Our 500 contract growers in Thakurgaon, Rangpur, Bogra and Jamalpur have been cultivating Sarpo Mira and Folva for consecutive four seasons."
Seeds are being developed through tissue culture at the Giant Agro's state-of-art laboratory in Thakurgaon, he said.

He said in 'the regional yield trial', conducted recently for late blight-tolerant potato varieties, the lowest late blight infestation was recorded (1.99 per cent) in Sarpo Mira and the highest was found in traditional Diamant (93.30 per cent).

(Click picture to watch video)

News item on the harvest of late blight resistant potatoes at the Giant Agro farm, Thakurgoan. (in Bengali)

Komol Kumar Sen, a farmer at Debipur Union in Thakurgaon Sadar Upazila told the FE that he grew Sarpo Mira on 6 bighas (1 Bigha=33 decimal) of land for the second time this year.

Komol Kumar Sen, a farmer at Debipur Union in Thakurgaon Sadar Upazila:

"I'm expecting 100 maunds (per maund=40 kgs) per bigha this year from the Sarpo Mira field at a time when only 55 to 70 maunds of traditional varieties like cardinal, diamante could be harvested."
He said cost for fungicide in Sarpo Mira or Folva field is one-fourth compared to that of other varieties.

He said input cost is 20-25 percent less for the potato varieties Sarpo Mira and Folva.

Chairman of Giant Group Feroz M Hassan said the fungal infection called 'late blight' wreaks havoc on potato production each year and sometimes farmers lose 25 to 57 percent of their yield.

Feroz M Hassan, Chairman of the Giant Group:

"Most importantly, the farmers have to spend a huge amount of money to spray chemical fungicides to protect the produce from late blight infestation.”

“These Danish varieties will save farmers' money which they could have used for spraying fungicides."
Managing Director of Giant Group Faruque Hassan said the Danish varieties are suitable for the climate conditions in Bangladesh.
Companies in this Article
DANESPO A/S is the leading company in the field of breeding and producing quality seed and ware potatoes in Northern Europe.
Giant Agro Processing Limited – GAPL is an agro based company involved in the production, processing, preservation, storage and marketing of seeds. GAPL a sister concern of the Giant Group, a leading business house in Bangladesh.