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Spirit Newsletter nº19 / June 2017

Dear Spirit Forum member,

Last month we launched new documents in the resources section of the Spirit portal. Especially, the document Potential determinants of profits and market efficiency of potato market chains in Uganda, which is focused on potato farmers, traders and small-scale processors and was conducted in the potato producing areas of Kabale and Mbale districts, and in Kampala as it is a major potato market.

Moreover, Rwandan potato farmers, in Musanze and Burera districts, have appealed for urgent help to fight crop pests that are ravaging their plantations, threatening production and food security. Farmers and agronomists say turnip moths (agrotis segetum) and centipedes are destroying their potato gardens, adding that control measures that have been applied so far have failed.

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

Next 9-14 July, The 20th Triennial Conference of the European Association for Potato Research will be held in Versailles, France. The latest innovative knowledge and research will be highlighted such as integration of genomic advances, integrated Pest Management scheme, improvement of Decision Support Systems and Precision Agriculture for more cost effective or sustainable practices, safer and healthier products for consumers and environment.

Finally, we take the opportunity to inform you that we have improved the web access management to allow for an enhanced user experience and now “The East Africa Potato Value Chain Knowledge Sharing Portal" can be accessed at http://platform.spiritacp.com

Kind regards,

The Spirit Project Coordination Group


Comparison of ethylene and chlorpropham for potato storage
June 20 2017 by INKOA

CIPC (or chlorpropham) is the most commonly used product for controlling potato sprouting during storage. A new technique involving storage in an ethylene-enriched atmosphere (the Restrain® process) has been recently implemented in Switzerland. The efficacy of these two methods was compared in Switzerland during three storage seasons over six potato varieties stored in different commercial storage facilities. The two methods produce comparable effects: both ensure good control of sprouting during storage and lead to comparable weight losses. The frying test did not reveal whether ethylene hastens the production of reducing sugars, since the samples were stored at low temperature (between 4 and 5 °C), which resulted in their generalised crisp’s browning. Nevertheless, a sweet taste was more frequently detected in tastings of potatoes stored under ethylene, indicating a risk of sugar accumulation for this treatment. Consequently, this method is not recommended for potatoes intended for processing into crisps or French fries. Tastings of the samples have also revealed a very slight change in the taste of potatoes stored in an ethylene atmosphere, although the difference compared to the samples stored under CIPC is minimal. Lastly, neither CIPC or ethylene is capable of limiting the development of symptoms of silver scurf and black dot. Symptoms of both fungi developed very rapidly during storage, with significant levels of infestation being reached at the end of the storage period

Factors Enhancing Household Nutrition Outcomes in Potato Value Chain in South-Western Uganda
June 19 2017 by INKOA

In Uganda, agricultural commercialization has been promoted to reduce poverty and improve household food security. South-western Uganda, the major producer of potato, has been considered the food basket of the country but it has one of the highest prevalence rates of stunting in children under 5. This study considered potato enterprise as a key pathway for enhancing household food and nutrition security because it has become a major income source and staple in the diets of many households in the area and most urban areas in the country. The objective was to determine factors that influence farm household nutrition and food security outcomes. Through a survey, data were collected from 434 randomly selected potato farmer households. Descriptive and econometric methods were used in data analysis. Results show that household dietary diversity score was low (3.2) for most (57%) of the households. Only 38% were food secure. The main factors enhancing household nutrition outcomes were size of land, livestock units owned, proportion of household income spent on food, and education of household head, while farmer’s experience in potato production had a negative effect. The size of land owned, crop diversification, income from potato, age and education of household head, and a famer being male enhanced household food security outcomes. The study recommends promoting improved production practices to maximize land productivity, integration of livestock in potato production, and training women and men in household food and nutrition and related use of income.

Potential determinants of profits and market efficiency of potato market chains in Uganda
June 22 2017 by INKOA

The study aimed at understanding the level of inefficiencies in the potato market chain. Farmers sell potato to traders but continue to complain of limited market access and low profits. The purpose of this paper is to determine market efficiency and profits of the potato market chain, and factors that influence the profits. Design/methodology/approach: The study focussed on potato farmers, traders and small-scale processors. It was conducted in Kabale and Mbale districts being the major potato producing areas in Uganda, and Kampala being a major potato market. Data were collected from 180 farmers, 60 traders and 32 small-scale processors. Descriptive and regression methods were used to analyse the data. Findings: There were three major potato market chains and all were profitable and efficient. The farmer-buyer node was the most efficient (efficiencies of 128-159 per cent). The trader node efficiency ranged between 56 and 81 per cent. Sex of chain actor, group marketing, contract duration and distance to market were among the factors that affected profits. Research limitations/implications: Processors considered were those operating on very small scale, hence results do not apply to large-scale processing. Consumers were not included but the data and results are adequate for the study objective. Originality/value: This paper provides empirical information that serves as a basis to adopt market options for increased benefits to various chain actors.

View all resources



Irish potato farmers appeal for help as pests ravage gardens in Rwanda

June 19 2017

Potato farmers in Musanze and Burera districts, Northern Province have appealed for urgent help to fight crop pests that are ravaging their plantations, threatening production and food security. Farmers and agronomists say turnip moths (agrotis segetum) and centipedes are destroying their potato gardens, adding that control measures that have been applied so far have failed.

KALRO develops new high yielding sweet potato varieties

June 19 2017

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO) centre in Njoro, Nakuru has come up with five new varieties of sweet potatoes, developed in five years. The potatoes were developed to grow in various climates, including in lower Eastern and Baringo.

Plant biochemist John Ndung’u said the most exciting characteristic of the new varieties not found in the common variety is the presence of high values of iron and beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A produced in the body.


Kenyan Potato farmers want the government to enforce the law of 50kg bags

June 19 2017

Potato farmers want the government to enforce the law that requires all packaging of agricultural produce be in 50kg bags. The law that had banned the use of 120kg extended bags hit a wall years ago after potato traders challenged it in court, noting they were not consulted as key stakeholders.

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.

African Green Revolution Forum 2017

From 04/09/2017 to 08/09/2017 — Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Initiated in 2010, the African Green Revolution Forum brings together African Heads of State, Ministers, farmers, private agribusiness firms, donors, financial institutions, NGOs, civil society, scientists, and other stakeholders to discuss and develop concrete investment plans for achieving the green revolution in Africa.

In a region is challenged by climate change, rapidly growing urban populations, and an urgent need for jobs, agriculture offers solutions, providing a clear path to food security and employment opportunities for all Africans. 

SA Innovation Summit

From 06/09/2017 to 08/09/2017 — Cape Town, South Africa

The SA Innovation Summit is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing South African innovation. Annually, the Summit offers numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs, innovators, thought-leaders, policymakers, inventors and investors to drive innovation in South Africa and inspire sustained economic growth.

View all events

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The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of the consortium and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.

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