The popular Lay’s Chips of New York will now be made with potatoes produced in Andhra Pradesh. Sounds ridiculous? This is a very seriously pleasing matter.
After running successful projects in the areas of cultivation of Himachal apples with the Vizag Agency, AP Govt now aims at collaborating with PepsiCo to cultivate high quality potatoes in few Mandals of the state.
To this effect, PepsiCo, the New York multimillionaire food & beverage giant has signed an MoU with the department of horticulture, Andhra Pradesh. Pepsi Co will now provide required support to the farmers in cultivating potatoes and purchasing of the produce too.
This happened immediately after the horticulture department has received good reviews about the the seeds that were being tested in 20 acres at Araku and Dumbriguda Agency mandals from July 2015 on a trial basis. From here on, the department and PepsiCo intends to grow potatoes in nearly 1,000 acres starting October 2016.
Speaking to the media, G Prabhakara Rao, Assistant Director, Visakhapatnam District Horticulture said that FC3 variety is presently cultivated in Himachal Pradesh and caters specifically to the potato chips.
PepsiCo is also keen on using the potatoes for the famous Lay’s Chips units across the globe.
“Our department and PepsiCo conducted trials in Kuppam in Chittoor and Vizag Agency last season and the MNC representatives were satisfied with the results from Vizag Agency and have confirmed that they will go ahead with cultivation in 1,000 acres in the Agency area. The ITDA Paderu financially supported us in the trial run by sharing 50% of the input cost which is around Rs 30,000 per acre,” says Mr Rao. He shared that the department will procure around 1,000 tonnes of seeds from Himachal Pradesh.
PepsiCo representatives opine that Vizag’s weather is the most suited for the FC3 potatoes. They hope to get a good yield in Vizag. Work is likely to begin from October this year.
The good part of this international association is the benefit to the farmers. They will attain good profits from the crop. A Rs 50000 investment will be required for an acre’s crop and the returns are likely to be Rs 1 lakh. Priority will be given to local tribals first to grow the potatoes. Araku, Dumbriguda and Hukumpeta are the three Mandals that are viable for the FC3 potatoes cultivation, as per the officials.
It is said that FC3 potatoes are not exactly suitable for commercial purposes. On the flip side, the potatoes which will get rejected by PepsiCo will be given to commercial markets.
Some great qualities of the FC3 Potato as per Horticulture Scientists
Resistant to diseases
Gives good yields than ordinary varieties
Has thin skin
Easily washable and boiled
Needs less fertilizer.