One of the main cash crops in the nation is the potato, which was grown on 313,000 hectares in 2022 and yielded 79,37,000 tonnes overall.


The aeroponic potato seed production system will help increase productivity, reduce post-harvest losses, start farm level processing, develop human resources, and open up a lot of job opportunities according to agricultural scientists who spoke to journalists in Islamabad.

As the second crop of potato seed is now ready to be harvested at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) in Islamabad, Pakistan’s dependence on imported potato seed is now expected to be greatly reduced thanks to the application of aeroponics technology, which was introduced in the nation with assistance from South Korea.

The majority of the potato seed used in Pakistan is imported from Holland, where it is not only more expensive but also of a fifth generation or older, which has a negative impact on potato productivity. The nation spends about Rs3 billion annually on the import of 15,000 to 20,000 tonnes of potato seed.

One of the main cash crops in the nation is the potato, which was grown on 313,000 hectares in 2022 and yielded 79,37,000 tonnes overall. In comparison to conventional methods or other soilless methods, aeroponics has the potential to increase production while lowering costs, according to Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali, Chairman of the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.

The private sector’s involvement in seed production is essential due to its potential for business growth, he claimed, and over 30% of the seed requirement could be satisfied by tissue culture labs already running at NARC.

The aeroponic technology is the best way to quickly multiply and distribute healthy seeds to the nation’s resource-poor farmers, according to agricultural scientists working on the project, in order to address the issue of the local shortage of good potato seed. The Korea Program on International Agriculture and PARC launched the project together (Kopia).

Dr. Cho Gyoung-Rae, the project’s director, gave an update on the status of the production of potato seeds while outlining the project’s features. He also stated that the project aimed to build additional greenhouses at NARC to produce 400,000 nucleus seed potatoes.

In 35 greenhouses, these seeds will then be multiplied, yielding 4,000,000 first-generation seed potato tubers for extensive cultivation. The project’s goal is to produce 150,000 tonnes of high-quality fourth-generation seeds of potatoes within five years, he said.

Aeroponics effectively exploits the vertical space of the greenhouse and air humidity balance to optimise the development of roots, tubers, and foliage. The commercial production of the potato seed using aeroponics technology is already progressing in South Korea and China.

The average harvest per plant is anticipated to be 60 tubers this year, which is ten times more than with traditional techniques. This growth is the result of uniform and healthy tissue culture plants, improved nutrient management in aeroponic greenhouses, the timing of planting, and of course, lessons from the previous year.

Given the success of the project’s initial phase, PARC and Kopia have decided to build additional greenhouses to produce 400,000 nucleus seed potatoes, which will then be multiplied in 35 additional greenhouses at NARC. On 160 acres of land, this activity will multiply the seed and generate 4,000,000 first-generation potato tubers.

This project will produce 150,000 tonnes of high-quality, fourth generation seed potatoes over the course of five years. 16 million generation-one tubers will be produced during the project’s lifespan, generating a direct income of Rs480 million, according to project officials.

Additionally, these tubers serve as the raw material for 160,000 tonnes of certified potato seed that will be sold to private seed companies for an estimated $9.6 billion. These seeds will be enough to plant 160,000 acres, and farmers will be able to produce an additional 0.32 million tonnes of potatoes thanks to certified seed.