KALRO, KOPIA develop disease free potato seed variety

Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organization (KALRO) in conjunction with Korea Project on International Agriculture (KOPIA) have developed a potato seed variety that is disease free.

The new potato seed variety will be free from bacterial wilt and virus which have been the major headache to the farmers for many years.

Over the years many small scale potato farmers have had to grapple with low yields and losses due to bacteria wilt infections that have seen farmers spend a fortune in purchasing expensive antifungal chemicals to fight the disease.

KALRO has embarked on an extensive training programme in potato growing areas to sensitize farmers on the importance of using the new seed and the best potato farming practices to ensure farmers increase their yields.

Scientists however say more research should be done on potatoes to improve quality and boost the country’s food security as potato is the third most consumed food in the country after maize and rice.

The researchers urged relevant stakeholders to provide potato farmers with good storage equipment and help them access ready markets for their produce to minimize post-harvest losses as well as increase farmers earnings.

  

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