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Effect of Site and Variety on Yield of Seed Potato in the North Rift Region of Kenya

Simeon K. Komen / Julius O. Ochuodho / Elmada O. Auma
Published Online: 2018-08-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0032

Abstract

Potato is Kenya’s second staple food crop, grown by small scale farmers who recycle seed due to unavailability of certified one, resulting in diseases build-up that reduces yields. The subdivision of once seed farms and change of use in the 1980’s effectively limit availability of suitable land for seed production against high demand of quality seed. Hence search for alternative sites in the North Rift for seed production are being explored. However, current varieties in commercial production were not evaluated for their performance in this region. The objectives of the study were to identify suitable potato varieties for seed production and for which elevation in the region.Well sprouted seed tubers of six local varieties were planted at Kitale (1901 m), Kapcherop (2386 m) and Kibigos (2887 m) above sea level following recommended management practices. Plant emergence was slowest at Kibigos while fastest at Kitale. Stem density varied with varieties and attained maximum numbers at 56 days after planting. Most of the varieties had 80% of tubers in seed grade 70 days after planting at Kitale. Introduction of potato varieties should be preceded by evaluation for their performance as some varieties seem more suitable while others do well across the sites for seed production. In cooler areas like Kapcherop and Kibigos potato tubers remain younger, emerge slowly compared to warmer areas, but attain maximum emergence 30 days after planting. Some varieties like Dutch Ronjin, have high number of tubers in seed size category while some have more ware size potatoes grown in same elevation for the same growth period.

Keywords: Potato; Variety; Performance; Seed size; North Rift and Region

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About the article

Received: 2017-10-13

Accepted: 2018-07-14

Published Online: 2018-08-25


Citation Information: Open Agriculture, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 296–300, ISSN (Online) 2391-9531, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opag-2018-0032.

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© by Simeon K. Komen et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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