FAO-Azerbaijan delegation completes study tour in Turkey within Partnership Programme
BAKU, Azerbaijan, August 25
An Azerbaijani delegation had made a study tour to Turkey within the project “Establishment of Disease-free National Seed Potato Production System in Azerbaijan”, Trend reports citing FAO.
During the visit held between 16th and 21st August, participants had a number of meetings in organizations specialized in potato production and gained new knowledge and skills. The main purpose of the study tour was to learn about various new technologies and innovations used in potato cultivation in Turkey in order to apply them in Azerbaijan within the project.
On the first day of the tour, participants visited Potato Research Institute, located in Nigde province, where they get acquainted with Institute’s infrastructure, new administration buildings, laboratories, greenhouses, and sown areas. At the meeting with participants, the Director of the Institute Mr. Ugur Pirlak, and heads of the Institute’s Board made a presentation on Institute’s general activities, its structure, research works, and its activities in the region. The delegation got acquainted with Institute’s laboratories specialized in Tissue Culture, Genetics and Breeding, Potato Diseases, and Technological Testing. Extensive work is being done here to create potato varieties resistant to various soil and climatic conditions, diseases, and pests. Future cooperation between the Vegetable Research Institute under Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Turkey’s Potato Research Institute in potato variety selection was discussed. The delegation expressed a special interest in the production of virus-free potato mini-tubers in the aeroponic growing system. The Vegetable Research Institute discussed opportunities of applying new technologies in its practice, with a special focus on potato variety selection for processing purpose and their future production in large areas in our country.
The delegation visited the huge underground cold storage – natural storage facilities in Nigde and Nevsehir provinces, which were used as warehouses for potatoes. The unique feature of these underground cold storages is that cold air is supplied completely from outside at cooler night times, without the use of any refrigeration equipment, and kept during the warmer days due to the natural insulation of the rock walls.
During the study tour, the delegation also took part in Turkey’s largest fair on potato production, the so-called Potato Days Festival in Konya. The main feature of the exhibition, held with the participation of major Turkish potato companies, was a product presentation next to demonstration plots where potatoes were planted and produced. The Turkish Potato Research Institute also participated in the fair and presented its own national varieties.
At the fair, the delegation exchanged views and established relations with several potato producers and companies producing agricultural machinery and technological equipment used in potato production. During the visit, participants got acquainted with sown fields of Turkey’s Potato Research Institute and made observations of crop planting.