STATUS AND PROSPECTS OF POTATO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NEPAL
Tara L. Lama, Bhim B. Khatri and Shyam P Dhakal
Potato is an important crop of Nepal. Due to its short vegetative cycle and high cash value, it plays an important role in country’s food production and poverty reduction. Despite its significance in food security and cash generation, the average productivity is one of the lowest in the world. Lack of appropriate production technologies in the country and use of inferior seed tubers by majority of the farmers are identified as two of the major limiting factors. With the objectives of generating suitable and stable appropriate technologies and disseminate them to increase the production and productivity for different agro-ecological zones of the country through coordinated research approach, National Potato Research Programme (NPRP) and National Potato Development Programme (NPDP) are in function with the RandD mandates in the country on potato crop. Since the establishment of these two programmes, tremendous progresses have been made. However, the productivity of this crop is far below its potentiality compared to the neighboring countries and even world average. This paper reviews the present status potato RandD of Nepal and attempts to assess its prospects.