Sarpo Mira Potato variety found to be late blight resistant

  Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) conducted experiment for late blight tolerant exotic potato variety recently and found Sarpo Mira variety from Denmark to be very promising. According to the Regional Yield Trial conducted recently for late blight tolerant potato variety, the lowest mean late blight infestation was recorded to be 1.99% in Sarpo Mira and highest was recorded in Bari Alu -7 (Diamant) which was 93.30%. Late Blight a fungal infection wreaks havoc on potato production each year and sometimes farmers lose 25-57 percent of their yield. Most importantly the farmers have to spend huge amount of money to spray chemical fungicides to protect the produce from late blight infestation. “This variety when available will save farmers thousands of Takas which they would have used for spraying fungicides.” This particular variety has also shown very good yield potential, more than 40% higher than the most popular variety Diamant. The mean yield at 95 days over the three location where trial was conducted of Sarpo Mira was recorded 33.40 Tons/hectare. In fact, in one of the locations (Jamalpur regional station) the yield was recorded to be 42.70 tons/hectare. Interestingly the mean dry matter percentage was recorded 20.20%. This variety also demonstrated quite reasonable dry matter content against the popular varieties in Bangladesh. The variety has a specially strong foliage and requires only a appr. 70% nitrate (N) does in comparison with variety Cardinal. The foliage can remain green for a very long time but between 100 and 115 days the production is ready as Sarpo Mira has a quite early tuber setting. Sarpo Mira is strongly advised for organic growing and is able to produce, without fungus protection, a constant high yield in dry and wet weather conditions. The tuber characteristic of Sarpo Mira is also found to be good and quite acceptable to the farmers. The tuber shape is long oval, the skin color is light Red, depth of eyes is shallow and the flesh colour is Yellow. A participatory variety selection trial was also conducted in the farmer’s field to know farmers’ reaction and opinion as well acceptance about the new variety. The experiment was conducted in the farmers filed of the three districts namely, Bogra, Jamalpur and Rangpur. Considering the size, shape and colour, and specially the higher yield farmers of all locations showed keen interest about the Sarpo Mira variety. The trials were also conducted by Giant Agro in its Research and Development farm in Thakurgoan and found it to be very promising for Bangladesh weather and soil. The variety will be available to farmers after its formally approved by the relevant government authority.    


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