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Development of Traditional Knowledge on Potato Storage into Technology in Cold Arid Region of Ladakh (J&K)

Narendra Singh and R.B. Srivastava

Abstract

The harsh climatic condition of high altitude cold desert of Ladakh permits growing of crops for limited period. Potato is not just a vegetable but also a wholesome food and is being recognized as an important component of dietary intake to provide household food and nutritional security. It is a short duration crop having highest dry matter production per unit area and time. Traditionally farmers in Ladakh store their produce (potatoes) in 1.2–2.1 meter deep underground pits. After harvesting in October, the potatoes are put into pit and cover with 45-60 cm dry soil. This method of potato storage known in the local traditional art has many disadvantages such as heavy spoilage in the tubers due to inappropriate temperature and humidity in the storage pit, sprouting of tubers in March and shriveling of tubers after April which makes the tubers unsuitable for consumption. An effective refined storage technology is needed to check the spoilage of valuable food and also to ensure availability of locally produced potatoes throughout the year, which will raise income of the people and meet their food and nutrition security. Due to shortage, potato for civil population and Armed Forces deployed in this region has to be airlifted from other part of the country as roads are closed from October-June. In view of the above, an experiment was conducted for standardization of regionally suited long-term potato storage technology at Defence Institute of High Altitude Research. Under this study, an underground store has been designed and techniques was standardized for treatment of tubers with CIPC (Isopropyl 3– chlorocarbanilate) to maintain the adequate temperature and humidity and to stop the sprouting during the storage

Keyword: Food and nutritional secu

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