ASSESSMENT OF VARIETAL REPLACEMENT RATE OF POTATO ININDIA: CONSTRAINTS AND EXTENSION STRATEGIES FORIMPROVEMENTPynbianglangKharumnuid, L. Devarani and Ram Singh
The assessment of varietal replacement rate is as important as the adoption rate of improved varieties inestimating the performance of crop improvement programs, especially for countries approaching moderateto full adoption level. In India, more than 95 percent of the total potato area is under improved varieties.There are many studies pertaining to the extent of adoption of improved potato varieties, but there is ascarcity of studies about the varietal replacement of potato varieties in India. Thus, this study attempted toassess the varietal replacement by measuring the weighted average age of the improved varieties and alsoto examine the constraints for slow replacement rate and the extension strategies for improvement. Thestudy revealed that more than 50 percent of the total supply of breeder seed by the ICAR-CPRI were varietiesthat were about 40-50 years old. Varieties lesser than 10 years old constituted only about 8 percent of thetotal supply. The weighted average age of improved varieties supplied from plains, hills and total supplywas 30.18, 29.44 and 30.16 years old, respectively. This indicates that significant potato area in India is stillunder old varieties. The study also revealed that there are many institutional, technical and socio-economicconstraints, responsible for the low varietal replacement rate in India. Extension strategies like participatoryvarietal development, frontline demonstrations, use of ICT tools, capacity building for farmers and otherstakeholders, establishment of seed villages and encouragement of public-private partnership in the seedsector are recommended for rapid varietal replacement rate so that farmers will get the benefits offered bythe new varieties.