African Journal of
Plant Science

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Plant Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0824
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPS
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 780

Full Length Research Paper

Bridging the gap in quality and quantity of seed potatoes through farmer managed screen houses in Uganda

Arinaitwe Abel Byarugaba
  • Arinaitwe Abel Byarugaba
  • Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KAZARDI) P.O Box 421, Kabale (KAZARDI), Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Kyooma John
  • Kyooma John
  • Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KAZARDI) P.O Box 421, Kabale (KAZARDI), Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Rwaheru Ambrose Aheisibwe
  • Rwaheru Ambrose Aheisibwe
  • Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KAZARDI) P.O Box 421, Kabale (KAZARDI), Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Tibanyedera Deo
  • Tibanyedera Deo
  • International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC) P.O Box 75391, Kampala, Uganda.
  • Google Scholar
Alex Barekye
  • Alex Barekye
  • Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KAZARDI) P.O Box 421, Kabale (KAZARDI), Uganda.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 13 October 2016
  •  Accepted: 06 December 2016
  •  Published: 28 February 2017

Abstract

Quality seed potato is a key factor in enhancing potato yields in Uganda. Available disease-free seed potato accounts for less than 5% of the whole potato seed market demand in Uganda leaving 95% as seed availability gap. This study was conducted to explore the potential of using farmer managed screen houses to alleviate the seed potato availability gap that exists in Uganda. Six screen houses of 7 m × 14 m each with capacity of 1620 plants were set up, three (3) screen houses in Bukimbiri, one (1) in Kisoro, one (1) in Hamurwa and one (1) in Maziba sites. All the sites were managed by trained six famers. Sterilized soil was used to reduce the incidence of pathogens and to ensure that clean mini-tubers were produced. Seed production was done in 2015 for two consecutive seasons (A and B). From the 6 screen houses, a total of 107,638 clean mini-tubers were generated across the sites for both seasons. At multiplication ratio of 1: 9 the generated mini-tubers have the potential of generating 968,742 tubers. This would reduce on existing seed gap for the next season. It was noted during the study that mini-tuber production, vigour and rate of growth varied significantly (P<0.001) across the varieties with ‘Rwangume’ achieving the highest yield in terms of tuber number per plant and height, compared to other 4 varieties (Kiningi, Rwashaki, Kachpot 1 and Victoria). This study showed that production of disease free mini-tuber at farmer level is possible using screen house technology and has a potential of reducing the seed availability gap through production of quality seed that can be accessed by other farmers.

 

Key words: Seed potato, seed gap, farmer screen houses.