We continue to publish exclusive materials from the WPC (World Potato Congress), telling about the organization of an efficient seed potato production chain in Africa.
The World Potato Congress will take place from May 31 to June 3 in Dublin, Ireland. The event will bring together professionals, including manufacturers potato, wholesalers, packers, importers and exporters of both seed and food potato.
This week we will talk about sustainable production and storage of potatoes in African countries.
A successful potato industry requires continuous production and storage of potatoes. This will ensure the availability of potatoes for fresh and processed consumption throughout the year, which will increase the food security and income of a population that is growing day by day. Sustainable potato processing requires a constant supply of good quality raw materials all year round. This requires growing potatoes two or three times a year and having good cold stores. The South African region has a suitable agro-ecology with the required amount of rainfall, which makes it possible to produce several types of products per year, especially when there is access to irrigation.
Ethiopia plans to expand the area under irrigated land from the current 2,7 million hectares. up to 4,1 million hectares. The country has mapped groundwater that can be used for irrigation along with other water resources such as rivers, rainwater, etc. Although progress is being made at different stages, most countries in Africa plan to produce more and more potatoes in irrigated agriculture. .
The Kisima farm produces seed potatoes twice a year on an area of about 100 hectares per season. With a state-of-the-art cold storage facility with a capacity of around 1000 tons, it is able to supply large volumes of certified seed potatoes almost all year round. Refrigeration ensures that post-harvest losses, disease and insect damage are kept to a minimum. Farmers' access to quality seeds from small producers growing certified seeds from Kisima increases the availability of potatoes for fresh and processed consumption.