improving livelihoods


Potato is an important crop for both food security and income in Uganda. The crop is grown by 300,000 smallholder households that produce 689,000 tons on 101,000 hectares per year (UBOS 2010). The average potato yield of 6.5 t ha-1 to 7 t ha-1 (FAOSTAT, 2011) is low compared to what can be achieved (20 tons ha-1) under optimal conditions. This difference in yield has been attributed to low quality seed, limited use of improved agro-inputs, variety degeneration, pests and diseases among other constraints (Wagoire et. al., 2005). One of the major diseases, late blight causes yield losses of about 40-60% (Kankwatsa et al., 2002). Potato is the major staple food crop and source of income in the SWHAEZ, The local potato varieties (Rutuku, Rwashaki, Mari, nehinda etc) have a yield potential of 14t/h New potatoes varieties have been developed and released by KaZARDI (NAROPOT 1, 2 &3 and KACHPOT 1) that have a yield potential of 25 t/ha, Are resistant to late blight disease and are early maturing. Currently farmers report between 4.5t/h to 7t/h (KOPIA, 2019 and USAID, 2021) due to use of inferior varieties, poor agronomic practices, declining soil fertility, susceptibility to pests and diseases, poor quality seed and limited farming space. Every farmer's interest is successful farming with high production amidst the different challenges, To address such challenges, researchers have developed new potato varieties with; • Higher yield potential (25 t/ha) • Resistant to late blight disease • Minimum Dormancy period (90 days) • Early Maturity (90 days) • Good crisping and table qualities