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Spirit Newsletter nº18 / May 2017

Dear Spirit Forum member,

Last month we launched new documents in the resources section of the Spirit portal. Especially, the document A Possible Pathway for Developing Formal Seed Potato Production in SubSaharan Africa: A Case of Uganda National Seed Potato Producers’ Association, which shows that the seed supply gap can be narrowed domestically and locally with high financial and social benefits.

Moreover, The James Hutton Institute has launched Buntata, a free Android based mobile application which aids potato growers in the identification of plant disease and pathogens and offers information to farmers as downloadable datasets.

New topics were added to our LinkedIn group this month. Check out and join at East Africa Potato Value Chain!

Next 15th -17th June, the Europatat Congress 2017-Make the European Potato Trade Great Again! will be held in Antwerp, Belgium. This year the congress will be focused on plant health and trade.

Kind regards,

The Spirit Project Coordination Group


A Possible Pathway for Developing Formal Seed Potato Production in SubSaharan Africa: A Case of Uganda National Seed Potato Producers’ Association
May 2 2017 by INKOA

Seed accounts for 40–50% of the cost in potato production, however, it is one of the most neglected inputs among smallholder potato farmers in sub-Saharan Africa partly due to lack of awareness, poverty, subsistence agriculture and seed inadequacy. Recognizing this, the potato programme of the National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in Uganda with the International Potato center (CIP) started an initiative in 1996 to engage smallholder farmers in south-western Uganda to produce and distribute improved seed to other farmers in an organized manner. Assessment of this initiative in 2010 revealed evolution of a profitable, self-sustaining and farmer-managed Uganda National Seed Potato Producers’ Association (UNSPPA) and efficient use of basic seed that was used to produce more seed than before.

Best Practices on the use of rainwater for off-season small-scale irrigation
May 25 2017 by INKOA

This study has been produced with the overall goal to document and analyse exisiting best practices in the field of RWHI management in sub-Saharan Africa, with a special focus on Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. This is meant to determine the suitability of RWHI management under multivariate biophysical and socioeconomic conditions. The best practices include specific information and know-how on the performance, cost-efficiency and impacts of RWHI technologies. This information and know-how intends to contribute on the capitalisation of successful and unsuccessful experiences in the field of RWHI management in order to identify best practices which can then be replicated, adapted, improved and scaled-up, leading to greater impacts and benefits on one hand, and effective policies and investments on the other.

Influence of different plastic film mulches and wetted soil percentages on potato grown under drip irrigation
May 2 2017 by INKOA

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), an important food crop of Northwest China, is commonly grown using transparent plastic film mulch for water conservation since both irrigation water and precipitation are scarce. In order to improve production efficiency, field experiments were conducted at Shiyanghe Experimental Station, China Agricultural University, Wuwei, Gansu Province, China using plastic mulch and drip irrigation to study the influence of two typical plastic mulches (transparent and black) and three wetted soil percentages on potato root distribution, evapotranspiration, tuber yield and quality, and water use efficiency (WUE) in 2014 and 2015. 

View all resources



Buntata: Potato pest and disease identification tool

May 18 2017

The James Hutton Institute has just launched Buntata, a free application to help potato growers identify plant pests and diseases in the field.

Buntata is an Android based mobile application which aids in the identification of plant disease and pathogens and offers information to farmers where they can go to get more details about any pests. It provides downloadable datasets allowing users to use the application in the field without the need of a mobile signal. 

Sh1 billion investment announced for potato processing plant in Kenya

May 2 2017

Switzerland-based New Ventures, through its food and beverage subsidiary Kingdom Foods [Kingdom GHL] has announced plans to set up a potato processing factory in Kenya, to be located in Elgeyo-Marakwet at a cost of Sh1 billion (10 million USD).

Kingdom Food business development manager Sialo Kimiring said the move followed talks with the county, as well as the need to improve the livelihoods of potato farmers through value addition.

Zimbabwe potato processor looking to import as the country runs out of potatoes

May 29 2017

Zimbabwe has run out of potatoes for making potato chips, prompting a company in Southerton industrial area to approach government seeking an urgent import permit to buy potatoes from South Africa, as heavy rainfall affected local supply.

Hanawa Super Foods, a potato chips company, made the appeal to the Industry and Commerce ministry on Monday, as it seeks to step up efforts to fill in gaps created by Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of June 2016, which banned foreign made potato crisps.

View all news

20th EAPR Triennial Conference

From 09/07/2017 to 14/07/2017 — Versailles, France

For the third time since the creation of the EAPR, France is honoured to welcome the 20th Triennial Conference of the European Association for Potato Research.

After Brest in 1969, Paris in 1993, we have chosen a place of exception to celebrate the 60th birthday of our Association that is Versailles.

COSPAR Capacity Building Workshop

From 12/06/2017 to 23/06/2017 — Kumasi, Ghana

Interdisciplinary Remote Sensing, Modeling, and Validation of Environmental Processes, COSPAR Capacity Building Workshop, hosted by the West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) under its Graduate Research Programme in Climate Change and Land Use (GRP-CCLU) based at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, Ghana, brings together an extensive suite of major international research initiatives to convey a coherent knowledge base and best practices in scientific research to young professionals and graduate students in West Africa.

Europatat Congress 2017-“Make the European Potato Trade Great Again!” (it’s gonna be huge, it’s gonna be great, it’s true)

From 15/06/2017 to 17/06/2017 — Antwerp, Belgium

In order to create a meeting for all potato professionals on the edge of a new potato season, Europatat organises its Congress every year in a different European location. This rotation enables all potato traders to host the congress in their country, which allows them to present the activities of Europatat to their national potato chain and authorities. On the other hand all countries have the opportunity to present their national sector and to focus on their items of interest during the Congress’ workshop.

This year's congress is taking place in Antwerp and will be focused on plant health and trade.

View all events

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