Guidelines For Production Of Healthy Seed Potataoes In East And Central Africa

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Date
2006
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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
Abstract
Potato is an important food and cash crop in East and Central Africa. It plays an important role in national food and nutrition security, poverty alleviation, and income generation and provides employment in production to consumption continuum. Potatoes mature in 3-4 months and can yield up to 40 t ha-1 • Most farmers obtain less than 10 t ha·1, mainly because of poor growing practices, low use of inputs and poor control of insect pests and diseases. Supply of good quality planting materials of improved varieties and timely availability can boost production of potatoes. Most farmers save and-plant seed from their own fields, or buy small tubers from neighbours or local markets. These practices allow diseases to build up resulting in low yields even when following recommended fertilisers and fungicides rates. Farmers should renew their seed stocks from clean sources such as research stations at least every 2-3 years, and then manage this seed carefully to minimise build-up of diseases and pests. This manual explains how to produce disease-free seed potatoes to support over one million ware potato growers in the region whose standard of cultivation requires to be upgraded.
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