Potato is an important crop in Pakistan for both consumers and producers. It is nutritious, produces high returns and there is a potential to increase yields by using good potato cultivation practices. However, a lack of knowledge concerning these is inhibiting many smallholder farmers in their effort to raise productivity. Furthermore, unsuitable management of threats, such as pests and diseases, increases losses. In this project, CABI aims to mitigate challenges faced in the smallholder potato sector by building the capacity of small-scale potato growers, and in particular women, in good agricultural practices, including the sustainable and safe use of pesticides, in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
The Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s (KRI) favourable climate and soil fertility offer ideal conditions for potato production, while cultivation and post-harvest activities provide important sources of employment and income in rural areas. Land and labour are also in abundance so there is the potential to significantly increase production. However, due to a lack of investment in the value chain and the limited training received by trainers and extension workers, these factors are underutilised.
Potato is one of the most widely grown crops in Kenya. The sector contributes almost USD 30m per year and employs 3.3 million people. However, the yield has been reducing significantly over the last decade, 12.4 t/ha below the global average of 21 t/ha. This has been attributed to a number of problems but the most important being the high incidence of pests and diseases, some of which are seed and soil-borne. CABI is conducting a surveillance exercise to identify and map the distribution of Pectobacterium and Dickeya species which cause blackleg and soft rots and Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. sepedonicus which causes ring rot. The results from the study will advise on the required regulatory framework for the certification of seed potato and provide information for better management and control.