A description of seed potato systems in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. uri icon

abstract

  • Seed potato systems in East Africa are described and opportunities for improvement identified on the basis of interviews with potato producers in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, and an assessment of Ralstonia solanacearum and virus disease levels in Kenya. 3% of seed potato sold in Kenyan markets was virus free. Ralstonia solanacearum was found in 74% of potato farms. Less than 5% of the farmers interviewed source seed potato from specialized seed growers. Over 50% rely entirely on farm-saved seed. Current seed potato prices justify this behavior. To improve the system the local and specialized chain need to be tackled simultaneously. To improve the local chain ware potato farmers require training on seed quality maintenance and managing bacterial wilt and viruses. Research into virus resistance and the effect of mixed virus infection on yield deserves attention. Private investment in seed potato production could increase volumes produced and reduce prices.

publication date

  • 2009
  • 2009