PAUs Potato Processing Technologies to Save Farmers From Financial Crunch
Punjab stands 6th in potato production in India contributing to 5.3% of total India production. The most widely grown table varieties which contribute to 90% of Potato cultivation area of punjab are Kufri Pukhraj, Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Badshah. Potato is a perishable commodity and inadequacies in its storage handling and non availability of processing grade potato in our country has resulted in frequent gluts in the market causing economic loss to the farmers and wastage of precious food.
In such situations, it really becomes a challenge to help farmer realize even his input cost of potato cultivation and production. Therefore, PAU is strongly considering and working on making FPO’s where PAU’s indigenous technology of potato flour production can help convert raw potato of any variety into edible potato flour with an 18 month shelf life, finding applications as an ingredient in savory industry, potato snack industry and even unorganized market applications like Aloo Tikki, Samosa, Aloo Wada, Masala Dosa Mix and Aloo Parantha Mix.
The Department of Food Science and Technology, PAU, has developed inexpensive technologies for the production of low cost diverse potato products (Aloo wari, potato flour, Aloo bhujia. potato papad, potato chakli and potato-maize chips) which can help the farmers to get out of financial crunch. The department is also providing canning facilities for preparation of ready-to-use canned potatoes (whole cubes or curried) and frozen facilities for preparation of french fries, frozen cubes and frozen ready to fry potato based snacks.
Farmers, farm women, rural youth and progressive entrepreneurs are provided with hands on training and facilities on processing and value addition of potato in Food Industry Business Incubation Centre, PAU. Moreover, the processed potato products will serve as a mean to increase its use in off season along with their high nutritional value. These products are easy to prepare and can be scaled up for commercial ventures.
The department is organizing a training programme on potato processing from 29th January to 31st January, 2019 for preparation of different value added products. The department is emphasizing on low cost technologies which can be adopted at farm gate and house hold level.