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Potato and Sweetpotato in Africa: Transforming the Value Chains for Food and Nutrition Security

By: Low, J.
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Sweetpotato and potato are expanding faster than any other food crops in sub-Saharan Africa. There is growing investment in research to address bottlenecks in value chains concerning these two crops, and growing interest from the private sector in investing in them. This book addresses five major themes on sweetpotato and potato: policies for germplasm exchange, food security and trade in Africa; seed systems; breeding and disease management; post-harvest management, processing technologies and marketing systems; nutritional value and changing behaviours.

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1: Advances in Sweetpotato Breeding from 1992 to 2012

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1 Advances in Sweetpotato Breeding from 1992 to 2012W.J. Grüneberg,1* D. Ma,2 R.O.M. Mwanga,3 E.E. Carey,4 K. Huamani,1 F. Diaz,1R. Eyzaguirre,1 E. Guaf,5 M. Jusuf,6 A. Karuniawan,7 K. Tjintokohadi,8Y.-S. Song,9 S.R. Anil,10 M. Hossain,11 E. Rahaman,12 S.I. Attaluri,13K. Somé,14 S.O. Afuape,15 K. Adofo,16 E. Lukonge,17 L. Karanja,18J. Ndirigwe,19 G. Ssemakula,20 S. Agili,21 J.M. Randrianaivoarivony,22M. Chiona,23 F. Chipungu,24 S.M. Laurie,25 J. Ricardo,26 M. Andrade,27F. Rausch Fernandes,28 A.S. Mello,28 M.A. Khan,1 D.R. Labonte29 and G.C. Yencho301International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru; 2Xuzhou Sweetpotato ResearchCenter (XSPRC), Xuzhou, China; 3CIP Sub-Saharan Africa (CIP-SSA), Kampala,Uganda; 4CIP-SSA, Kumasi, Ghana; 5National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI),Papua New Guinea; 6Indonesian Legumes and Tuber Crops Research Institute(ILETRI), Java, Indonesia; 7Padjadjaran University (UNPAD), Java, Indonesia;8CIP East and Southeast Asia and the Pacific (CIP-ESEAP), Lembang-Bandung,

 

2: Breeding Sweetpotato for Yield and Beta-carotene Content in Burkina Faso

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2 

Breeding Sweetpotato for Yield and

Beta-carotene Content in Burkina Faso

K. Somé,1,2* T.J. Ouedraogo,1 J. Belem,1 K.I. Asante,2

G. Vernon2,3 and Y.E. Danquah2

1

Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), Ouagadougou,

Burkina Faso; 2West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of

Ghana, Accra, Ghana; 3Cornell University, New York, USA

Abstract

The potential of sweetpotato to address food security, malnutrition and poverty is acknowledged in sub-Saharan Africa. The present study was undertaken to develop varieties combining yield and quality in order to address food security and malnutrition in Burkina Faso. Eight parents (five farmers’ preferred varieties with various flesh colours and three introduced orange-fleshed sweetpotato varieties) were selected to develop populations and, subsequently, to estimate heritability and genetic gain from breeding. One hundred and thirty F1 hybrids and their eight parental clones were evaluated in three locations in an Alpha Lattice design to identify high yielding and beta-carotene rich clones with specific to wide adaptation to the local environments. Parent–offspring regression analyses and estimated genetic gain suggested that rapid progress could be attained in increasing dry matter content which was highly heritable (0.76 ± 0.03) and exhibited high genetic gain (22.60%). The same was true for beta-carotene content which was also highly heritable (0.90 ± 0.04). Low heritability (0.21 ± 0.16) associated with low genetic gain indicated that increased storage root yield improvement would be slow.

 

3: Development of Dual-purpose Sweetpotato Varieties through Participatory Breeding in Rwanda

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3 

Development of Dual-purpose

Sweetpotato Varieties through

Participatory Breeding in Rwanda

D. Shumbusha,1* J. Ndirigwe,2 L. Kankundiye,2

A. Musabyemungu2 and R.O.M. Mwanga3

1

Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Huye, Rwanda;

2

RAB, Kigali, Rwanda; 3International Potato Center Sub-Saharan

Africa (CIP-SSA), Kampala, Uganda

Abstract

Sweetpotato forms a major part of the diet of both rural and urban communities in Rwanda. Moreover, it is expected that the crop could become more important than it is already now, especially for farmers operating in mixed crop-livestock systems. The interest in sweetpotato as an animal feed is associated with the implementation of a policy regarding zero grazing practices as one of the ways to reduce soil erosion. This research was conducted to develop dual-purpose sweetpotato varieties through a participatory approach, using an accelerated breeding scheme. Sixty parents comprising local cultivars and introduced germplasm were used in a crossing block to generate true seeds. In total, 5380 well-established genotypes were selected from the seedling nursery and planted in an observational trial at Rubona,

 

4: Development and Evaluation of New Sweetpotato Varieties through Farmer Participatory Breeding for High Altitudes in Kenya

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4 

Development and Evaluation of New Sweetpotato Varieties through

Farmer Participatory Breeding for High Altitudes in Kenya

L. Karanja,* J. Malinga, J. Ndung’u, A. Gichangi,

D. Lelgut and J. Kamundia

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO),

Njoro, Kenya

Abstract

Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.) plays a significant role in food and nutritional security in Kenya.

However, production is constrained by: (i) Sweet potato virus diseases (SPVD) and weevils (Cylas spp.); (ii) shortage of clean planting materials; (iii) lack of suitable varieties for high altitude agroecosystems; (iv) poor postharvest handling; and (v) poor market access. In order to enhance the role of sweetpotato for food security, a breeding programme was initiated at Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI)-Njoro with the objective of developing varieties with desirable genetic and agronomic attributes which include high yields, resistance to SPVD and weevils, improved food quality, and market acceptability for high altitudes. Thirty-six potential parents were identified in initial screening of 440 accessions from landraces, improved and imported accessions. Hand and polycrossing ­process was performed to generate a breeding nursery of 2200 seedlings. Forty-three entries were identified for advancement to preliminary yield evaluation. Out of these, ten entries were advanced to multi-location testing in five sites under the oversight of the National Performance Trials committee. The multi-location trials were conducted on a randomized complete block design with three replicates at Kabianga (LH1-1745 m above sea level (masl)), Ravine (LH3-2167 masl), KARI-Lanet (LH4-1920 masl), Lare (LH4-1900 masl) and KARI-Njoro (LH3-2166 masl). The sites were in the Central Rift Valley region. Participatory variety evaluation by researchers, extensionists, plant regulators and farmers was adopted in all the trials. Standard operating procedures and analyses as prescribed by the International Potato Center and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service were used to evaluate: (i)  yields; (ii) viruses and weevils; (iii) dry matter content;

 

5: In Vitro Evaluation of Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato Genotypes for Drought Tolerance Using Polyethylene Glycol

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5 

In Vitro Evaluation of Orange-fleshed

Sweetpotato Genotypes for Drought

Tolerance Using Polyethylene Glycol

1

S. Agili,1* B.N. Aggrey,2 K. Ngamau2 and W.P. Masinde2

International Potato Center Sub-Saharan Africa (CIP-SSA), Nairobi, Kenya;

2

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

In vitro techniques have been shown to be useful in identifying relatively drought-tolerant genotypes at early stages of development. In this study, drought-induced alterations in early shoot and root development of 59 sweetpotato genotypes was evaluated in the tissue culture laboratory at the Kenya

Plant Health Inspectorate Services, Quarantine station, Muguga, Kenya. These genotypes were obtained from Lima, Peru and were evaluated against two known Kenyan check varieties, Marooko

(drought tolerant) and K566632 (drought susceptible). Plantlets of each genotype were raised on

­Murashige and Skoog basal solid medium, from an original node consisting of a 0.2–0.5 cm stem segment. These were exposed to polyethylene glycol (PEG 6000) at three different concentration levels:

 

6: Ex Ante Evaluation of Improved Potato Varieties for Sub-Saharan Africa

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6 

Ex Ante Evaluation of Improved Potato

Varieties for Sub-Saharan Africa

U. Kleinwechter,1* G. Hareau,1 M. Bonierbale,1

M. Gastelo1 and D. Harahagazwe2

1

International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru; 2CIP, Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), potato plays an important role as a food security crop. Yet technological improvements to boost potato productivity have so far not been extensively utilized. Moreover, it remains unclear which potential impacts can be expected from future technological innovations in potato production in the region. To shed light on this question, a scenario of the development and diffusion of improved potato varieties for nine countries in East and Central Africa is developed and assessed.

The scenario involves varieties which combine a number of improvements in pro-poor, productivityenhancing traits and is analysed using an economic model of the world agricultural sector. Taking into account spill-over effects across markets and countries, the analysis finds positive net welfare effects at the global level from US$60 million to US$403 million. Global returns on investment are positive between 20% and 37%. Effects of the intervention on potato supply in the target countries range from 0.5% to 8.5%. Potato producers in these countries are found to benefit, but producers of other commodities and in other countries beyond the region are negatively affected. Lower market prices for potatoes and other commodities lead to welfare gains to consumers worldwide. At the level of the target countries, the improved potato varieties are found to generate returns on investment between 20% and over 70%, depending mainly on the level of adoption. The analysis shows that investing in crop improvement and variety development for SSA can be a worthwhile undertaking with high returns. It also highlights the importance of variety diffusion for the intra-regional distribution and the magnitude of the impacts and suggests putting emphasis in seed systems development to promote quick dissemination and high adoption levels.

 

7: Durable Cisgenic Resistance to Phytophthora infestans in Potato, and Perspectives for Applications in Africa

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7 

Durable Cisgenic Resistance to Phytophthora infestans in Potato, and Perspectives for Applications in Africa

G. Gheysen,1* B. Heremans,1 B. Van Droogenbroeck,2 R. Custers,3

J.H. Vossen,4 R.G.F. Visser,4 E. Jacobsen,4 R. Hutten4 and A.J. Haverkort4

1

Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium; 2Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Merelbeke, Belgium; 3Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Ghent, Belgium; 4Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, The Netherlands

Abstract

Late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans is a major constraint in potato production. A promising strategy to combat late blight in potato is to combine different resistance genes to achieve durable resistance.

Resistance genes from wild relatives can be introduced by breeding or by transformation. Single resistance genes are not durable because mutant pathogens that avoid recognition will easily be selected. Genetic engineering is a straightforward method allowing introduction of a combination of natural resistance genes into a potato cultivar without altering other agronomic characteristics. Since these genes can also be introduced by conventional breeding methods, the resulting potato plants are called cisgenic, in contrast to transgenic potatoes that have received DNA from non-crossable species. Three R genes conferring resistance to P. infestans (Rpi), Rpi-sto1 (Solanum stoloniferum), Rpi-vnt1.1 (Solanum venturii) and Rpi-blb3

 

8: Exhibition Trial and Farmer Participatory Selection of New Late-blight Resistant B3C1 Potato Genotypes for Adaptation to Nigerian Conditions

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8 

Exhibition Trial and Farmer

Participatory Selection of New Late-blight

Resistant B3C1 Potato Genotypes for

Adaptation to Nigerian Conditions

C.O. Amadi,1* A.J. Lang,2 E.A. Dung,2 D.M. Lenka,2

T.Y. Dalyop2 and J.A. Landeo3

1

National Root Crops Research Institute, Umudike, Nigeria; 2National Root Crops

Research Institute, Kuru, Nigeria; 3International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru

Abstract

Nineteen late-blight resistant B3C1 potato genotypes received from the International Potato Center (CIP) and two local checks were planted in an exhibition trial conducted in three potato-growing locations on the Jos

Plateau of Nigeria in the 2007 rainy season. The field trials were situated in Bokkos, Kerang and Kuru as part of the accelerated variety selection scheme being promoted by CIP to speed up the release of new varieties and increase adoption rate. The objectives were to identify and select together with the farmers, high yielding and late-blight resistant genotypes and by so doing, popularize these genotypes in advance of their release. Eight B3C1 potato genotypes (P < 0.05) performed better than the local check at Kuru, while three gave higher yields than the local check at Kerang. In Bokkos, none of the B3C1 genotypes yielded greater than the local checks. Clones 392617.54, 393073.179 and 396026.103 gave tuber yields that were (P < 0.05) greater than the local checks in Kuru and Kerang with yields of 23.63, 25.24 and 19.79t/ha, respectively.

 

9: Integrative Breeding Strategy for Making Climate-smart Potato Varieties for Sub-Saharan Africa

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9 

Integrative Breeding Strategy for Making Climate-smart Potato

Varieties for Sub-Saharan Africa

1

A. Asfaw,1* M. Bonierbale2 and M.A. Khan2

International Potato Center (CIP), Nairobi, Kenya; 2CIP, Lima, Peru

Abstract

Breeding potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is becoming increasingly complicated because of the growing number of requirements for new varieties, particularly the added concern of adapting potato to climate variability, especially in regions of sub-Saharan Africa. Combining the right genes to overcome constraints of climate variability in a potato crop, together with an enhanced level of other desirable traits such as consumer and commercial preferences, yield and resistance to biotic stresses requires an integrated breeding strategy that makes use of the knowledge of scientists as well as farmers. This chapter discusses the design of a breeding strategy that incorporates adaptation traits with the commercial and home-use characteristics preferred by potato farmers for varieties to be grown in diverse environments.

 

10: New Elite Potato Clones with Heat Tolerance, Late Blight and Virus Resistance to Address Climate Change

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10 

New Elite Potato Clones with

Heat Tolerance, Late Blight and Virus Resistance to Address

Climate Change

M. Gastelo,* L. Diaz, J.A. Landeo and M. Bonierbale

International Potato Center (CIP), Lima, Peru

Abstract

Potato production in developing countries is expanding to warmer environments as farmers search for income opportunities and food security. Meanwhile, climate change is already affecting weather

­patterns in traditional potato-growing areas, where unpredictable rains and pressure from pests and disease are increasing farmers’ risk. Since 2004, the International Potato Center (CIP) has sought to develop new, more heat-tolerant generations of its tropical highland-adapted late-blight resistant population. Late-blight resistant parents were crossed with early maturing and virus resistant progenitors, and selection practised under warm temperatures, water deficit and mid-latitude conditions.

During the 2005–2006 summer season (January–March) 20,000 genotypes were exposed to heat in a screenhouse at CIP’s experimental station in San Ramon, a warm rain forest environment at 800 m above sea level (masl) and latitude 11° 08¢ S. Selected clones were assessed in the field in the same location, where average night and day temperatures during tuberization were 21°C and 27°C, respectively; the resulting heat tolerant clones were exposed to high, endemic late blight pressure in Oxapampa

 

11: Strategies to Improve Seed Potato Quality and Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa: Experience from Interventions in Five Countries

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11 

Strategies to Improve Seed Potato

Quality and Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa:

Experience from Interventions in Five

Countries

P. Demo,1* B. Lemaga,2 R. Kakuhenzire,3 S. Schulz,4 D. Borus,5

I. Barker,6 G. Woldegiorgis,7 M.L.Parker8 and E. Schulte-Geldermann8

1

International Potato Center (CIP), Lilongwe, Malawi; 2Ethiopian

Agricultural Transformation Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 3CIP-Tanzania,

Mbeya, Tanzania; 4CIP, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 5University of Tasmania, Hobart,

Australia; 6Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Basel, Switzerland;

7

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababba, Ethiopia;

8

CIP Sub-Saharan Africa (CIP-SSA), Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Potato yields of small-scale farmers in the region fall far short of their potential, mostly due to a potent combination of inadequate supplies of high quality seed and limited awareness of better seed and crop management practices. Consequently, potato yields in sub-Saharan Africa are dismally low at 6–10 t/ha.

To increase the availability of high-grade potato seed, the International Potato Center and its national partners have developed components of an innovative seed strategy, the ‘3 seed potato generation revolution’ (3G – a seed production model), which drastically lowers the cost of production of pre-basic or ‘starter’ seed coupled with extension-based interventions to train smallholders to better manage their own seed on farm. Using rapid multiplication techniques (RMT), such as aeroponics or sandponics, to produce minitubers from in vitro plantlets, seed can be bulked in two subsequent field generations to the same quantities that under conventional practices require four to six generations. This reduces the cost of production and prevents build-up of damaging diseases in the field.

 

12: Public–Private Partnership Supporting Women-driven Seed Potato Multiplication in the Lumwana Catchment Area of North-Western Province of Zambia

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12 

Public–Private Partnership

Supporting Women-driven Seed Potato

Multiplication in the Lumwana Catchment

Area of North-Western Province of Zambia

A. Chalwe,1* S. Bwembya,1 H. Kanema2 and D. Subakanya2

1

Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, Solwezi, Zambia;

2

Barrick Lumwana Mining Company, Solwezi, Zambia

Abstract

The opening of mines and associated population boom is contributing to the increase in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) consumption, which calls for increased production of the crop in North-Western Province of Zambia. However, the major constraint hampering expansion of potato production in the region is lack of seed for improved potato varieties. As no seed company is engaged in potato seed production in Zambia, all improved seed is imported from South Africa and Europe in the form of ‘seed potatoes’. Even so, the quantity imported is not adequate to guarantee year-round production of the crop by small-scale farmers in the province. In response to the national government’s strategic plan of fostering development of the agricultural sector through the establishment of public–private partnerships in Zambia, Barrick Lumwana

 

13: Risk of Uncontrolled Importation of Seed Potato from Europe to East and Central Africa: What are the Policy Options?

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13 

Risk of Uncontrolled Importation of Seed Potato from Europe to East and Central Africa: What are the

Policy Options?

W. Kaguongo,1* I. Rwomushana,2 I.N. Kashaija,3 S. Ntizo4 and J. Kabira5

1

National Potato Council of Kenya (NPCK), Nairobi, Kenya; 2Association for

Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA),

Entebbe, Uganda; 3National Agricultural Research Organization, Entebbe,

Uganda; 4Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Kigali, Rwanda; 5Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Limuru, Kenya

Abstract

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an important food and cash crop. It is among the 10 strategic staple crops for food and income security in Eastern and Central Africa (ECA). Its importance continues to rise due to increased urbanization, change in eating habits and uptake of processed potato products such as crisps and chips. This has led to a steady increase in the area under the potato crop.

Despite this, on-farm potato yields have continued to drop to about 10 t/ha compared with the potential yields of 40–60 t/ha attained by progressive farmers. This is mainly attributed to poor quality seed tubers used by farmers. On the other hand, lack of suitable processing varieties has limited expansion of potato value addition. Currently, certified or high quality seed potato accounts for less than 5% of the whole potato seed market in ECA. This scenario has encouraged the common practice among potato farmers of planting own-saved tubers from previous harvests or sourced from markets or neighbours.

 

14: Quality Seed Potato Production: Experience From the Highlands of Ethiopia

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14 

Quality Seed Potato Production:

Experience From the Highlands of Ethiopia

G. Woldegiorgis,1* G. Hailemariam,2 B. Lemaga3 and S. Schulz2

Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;

2

International Potato Center (CIP), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 3Ethiopian

Agricultural Transformation Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

1

Abstract

Utilization of healthy planting material is a key factor to improve potato yields and to reduce the dissemination of pests and diseases. Decentralized, community-based seed production schemes have been established between 2008 and 2012 in six highland districts of Ethiopia. Pathogen-free planting material of selected varieties was multiplied on station and distributed to more than 139 seed producer cooperatives located in major seed-producing areas. More than 3390 seed potato growers were trained on clean seed potato production and postharvest management. In addition, more than 980 development agents from the Ministry of Agriculture were trained. Seed storage capacity was increased by constructing around 110 diffused light stores.

 

15: A Possible Pathway for Developing Formal Seed Potato Production in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case of Uganda National Seed Potato Producers’ Association (UNSPPA)

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15 

A Possible Pathway for Developing

Formal Seed Potato Production in SubSaharan Africa: A Case of Uganda

National Seed Potato Producers’

Association (UNSPPA)

1

R. Kakuhenzire,1* S. Tindimubona,2 I.N. Kashaija3 and B. Lemaga4

International Potato Center (CIP)-Tanzania, Mbeya, Tanzania; 2Uganda National

Seed Potato Producers’ Association (UNSPPA), Kabale, Uganda; 3National

Agricultural Research Organisation, Entebbe, Uganda; 4Ethiopian Agricultural

Transformation Agency, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Abstract

Seed accounts for 40–50% of the cost in potato production, however, it is one of the most neglected inputs among smallholder potato farmers in sub-Saharan Africa partly due to lack of awareness, poverty, subsistence agriculture and seed inadequacy. Recognizing this, the potato programme of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda with the International Potato center (CIP) started an initiative in 1996 to engage smallholder farmers in south-western Uganda to produce and distribute improved seed to other farmers in an organized manner. Assessment of this initiative in 2010 revealed evolution of a profitable, self-sustaining and farmer-managed

 

16: Potato Yield Variation as Affected by Virus Seed Degeneration and Growth Conditions in Tunisia

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16 

Potato Yield Variation as Affected by

Virus Seed Degeneration and Growth

Conditions in Tunisia

N. Khamassy,* I. Riadh and S. Boukhris-Bouhachem

National Agricultural Research Institute of Tunisia, Ariana, Tunisia

Abstract

Virus diseases mainly affect crop growth by reducing the size of the canopy, thus inhibiting the interaction of the incoming solar radiation. Additional yield reduction may be caused by effects on the radiation use efficiency or on the dry matter allocation to the tubers. Research plots were established in

2012 at the Ariana Research Station Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique de Tunisie (INRAT) to determine the effect of seed-borne potato virus Y (PVY) and poor growing conditions on the yield of cultivar Spunta (fairly good resistance to virus PVYn) during the spring crop season (February–­June).

Five potato seed origins were evaluated. They have five levels of PVY infection: 0%, 2%, 4%, 8% and

50%. They were grown under poor conditions: 50% of the normal fertilization doses, 0% added organic matter and high water salinity (around 4 g/l). The results showed significant general effects of the poor growing conditions on yield reduction whatever the infection level. The differences between yield origins were statistically significant and yields were negatively affected at 8% and 50% infection levels. Thus, the PVY infection levels have a negative effect on yield losses under poor crop management.

 

17: Seed Potato Certification in Kenya: Prospects, Achievements and Constraints

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17 

Seed Potato Certification in Kenya:

Prospects, Achievements and Constraints

E. Kimani,* G. Ngundo and I. Macharia

Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Nairobi, Kenya

Abstract

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a crop of major economic importance worldwide and is considered the second most important food crop after maize in Kenya. National potato production ranges from 4.4 to 15 t/ha with an average of about 7 t/ha although yields of 40 t/ha are attainable under research conditions. The low yields are attributed to production constraints such as low soil fertility, diseases and the unavailability and high cost of inputs, mainly certified seed tubers. Improving the availability of certified disease-free seed potato of high varietal purity is therefore of paramount importance in ensuring optimum ware potato production. Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) along with other stakeholders have supported the implementation of various interventions aimed at alleviating constraints in the seed supply system. These include: (i) seed certification; (ii) quality assurance of seed emanating from new technologies such as aeroponics; (iii) phytosanitary certification of approved seed imports from Europe; and (iv) adoption of modern techniques such as PCR for seed health testing. Together with the recently released varieties bred by Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) and International Potato center (CIP), farmers are set to benefit from superior seed potato varieties imported from The Netherlands.

 

18: Adaptation and Improvement of the Seed-plot Technique in Smallholder Potato Production

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18 

Adaptation and Improvement of the Seed-plot Technique in Smallholder Potato Production

Z.M. Kinyua,1* E. Schulte-Geldermann,2 P. Namugga,3

B. Ochieng-Obura,2 S. Tindimubona,4 A. Bararyenya,5

I.N. Kashaija,6 I. Rwomushana7 and F. Opio7

1

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)Kabete, Nairobi, Kenya; 2International Potato Center Sub-Saharan

Africa (CIP-SSA), Nairobi, Kenya; 3Kachwekano Agricultural Research and Development Research Institute, Kabale, Uganda; 4Uganda

National Seed Potato Producers’ Association (UNSPPA), Kabale,

Uganda; 5Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi,

Bujumbura, Burundi; 6National Agricultural Research Organization,

Entebbe, Uganda; 7Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), Entebbe, Uganda

Abstract

Smallholder farmers commonly use tubers from previous harvests (such as tubers that often habour tuber-borne diseases) which lead to significant yield reductions. A seed-plot technique has been developed on a pilot scale to increase on-farm availability of quality seed potato. The objectives of this study were to validate this technology under diverse management circumstances and to determine the effect of fertilizer application on seed-plot productivity as a way of increasing the gains from the technology. Validation trials were carried out in ten sites in Kenya and five sites in Uganda, where farmer groups established and managed plots by planting cultivar Asante (Victoria) at a spacing of 30 cm × 30 cm. Productivity of seed plots was statistically similar across all the sites in the two countries, indicating that the technique was easily adaptable in many areas. Fertilizer trials were carried out in Meru Central District, Kenya, with cultivar Asante and two types of fertilizer, diammonium phosphate (DAP) (18: 46: 0) and Mavuno Planting (10: 26: 10). The fertilizers were applied at low and high rates based on nitrogen supply (45 and 90 kg N/ha, respectively) in seed plots measuring 2.4 m × 1.8 m on which tubers were planted at a spacing of 30 cm × 30 cm. Plots with no fertilizer application produced a mean of 102.50 seed-sized tubers per plot, which was significantly lower than the 163.25, 162.00, 155.75 and 133.50 tubers obtained from plots that received low DAP, high DAP, low Mavuno Planting and high Mavuno Planting applications, respectively. Plots that received low DAP and low Mavuno Planting applications produced relatively higher proportions of seed-sized tubers (74.12% and 72.02%) than the DAP-high and Mavuno

 

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