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Spirit Newsletter nº6 / June 2016

Dear Spirit Forum member,

Last month we launched 29 new documents in the resources section of the Spirit portal. Especially, the document Overcoming seed potato quality constraints to tackle food insecurity and poverty in eastern and central Africa in the 21st Century summarized two technologies, namely seed-plot technique (SPT) and positive seed selection (PSS), which were considered for validated through farmer-learning fora in Kenya, Uganda and Burundi to improve the availability of healthy seed potato in East and Central African (ECA) countries.

In June, the 6th knowledge-exchange event of the “East Africa Potato Research and Knowledge Exchange Forum” has been conducted in Nairobi (Kenya). On it, more than 15 relevant research organizations involved in agri-food sector from East Africa and Europe have had the opportunity to share their knowledge and exchange experiences on “Potato Processing techniques and technologies” for enhanced product quality along the potato value chain.

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

Next 5th-6th July, the SPIRIT Project will be attending the third ACP Joint Stakeholders' Conference of the Programmes: EDULINK II, ACP-Science & Technology Programme (S&T II) and ACP Caribbean & Pacific Research Programme for Sustainable development at the ACP House in Brussels (Belgium). The meeting, which will be coordinated by the ACP Group of States, will aim to provide beneficiaries and stakeholders with the opportunity to exchange views on the progress in ACP countries with regard to the scientific divide, to Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) competences, and to capacity building and regional integration in the field of Higher Education (HE) and research.

Kind regards, The Spirit Project Coordination Group


Effects of slice thickness and frying temperature on sensory properties of potato crisps
June 6 2016 by University of Nairobi

The article indicates results of evaluation of Kenyan cultivars in relation to processing crisps using different slice thicknesses and frying temperature.

Overcoming seed potato quality constraints to tackle food insecurity and poverty in eastern and central Africa in the 21st Century
June 10 2016 by Makerere University

To improve availability of healthy seed potato in Eastern and Central Africa countries, where more than 95% of mostly poor quality seed potatoes are sourced from farmers’ own previous harvests or markets or neighbours, two technologies namely; seed plot technique (SPT) and positive seed selection (PSS) were considered for validated and promotion through farmer-learnig for a in Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi. There was noticeable improvement in the quality and availability of seed potato to small scale farmers.

Tackling low potato yields in Eastern Africa: an overview of constraints and potential strategies
June 10 2016 by Makerere University
This article acknowledges that improvement of the potato production system in sub-Saharan Africa, where potato is an important cash and food crop, can be a pathway out of poverty. To improve the potato production system, a set of constraints along the potato value chain has to be considered to enable the designing of widely adaptable strategies for improve potato farming system. Find more in this article about the proposed strategies to improve potato production system in the sub-Saharan African.
View all resources



Agra and UPL limited to set up cold storage facilities in Africa.

June 8 2016

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra) in partnership with Indian-based agrochemical maker UPL Limited launched a $2 billion cold storage project to address challenges of post-harvest losses for potato farmers in the continent. The public-private initiative was unveiled in Kigali during the World Economic Forum on Africa. They need to alleviate the poor storage of farm produce which accounts for 40% of food losses in Africa. Agra and UPL promised to set up the post-harvest storage facilities across sub-Saharan Africa within the next ten years for potatoes and other perishable produce including fruits and vegetables. Currently, construction of three cold storage facilities in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda is ongoing and is expected to be fully operational by 2017. The initiative aims to reach 15 million farmers over the next decade with a target of impacting 100 million people.

Exhibition at African Food Manufacturing and Safety Summit

June 13 2016

The African Food Manufacturing & Safety Summit (AFMASS) Conference & Expo which is a high level conference and trade expo that provides the most important route to the sub-Sahara African food and beverage processing and foodservice industry took place on the 8th-10th June 2016 at the Kenya School of Monetar Studies. ACP-SPIRIT was among the exhibitors during this event

Potato Farmers in Uganda Demand Local Leaders to Pass Biotech and Biosafety Bill

June 7 2016

South Western region grows 60% of potato in Uganda and houses potato processing industries which need constant supply of potatoes. However, the effects of late blight disease constrain potato supply to the industries, threaten incomes and livelihoods. Based on the above claim, the potato farmers from the South Western region of Uganda have therefore asked their local leaders to support the passage of the National Biosafety Bill. The farmers also pledged to petition their Members of Parliament (MPs) to urgently re-table and discuss the National Biotechnology and Bisoafety Bill 2012. The farmers made the appeal to their leaders during a sensitization meeting on agricultural biotechnology and a tour of confined fields of GM late blight resistant potato, which was held on May 21, 2016 at Kachwekano Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (KaZARDI). Meeting participants included: Potato farmers, Processors, District Production Officers, District Agricultural Officers, local government officials, representatives of the area Members of Parliament, Officials from International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), media representatives, and researchers from NARO.

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.

Potato Europe 2016

From 14/09/2016 to 15/09/2016 — Villers-Saint-Christophe, France

PotatoEurope is an international event dedicated to potatoes that takes place each year in one of the event’s four partner countries (Germany, Belgium, France, The Netherlands).

After three years abroad, PotatoEurope comes back to France with the hope of repeating the success of the last time the event was here in 2012.

Over 10,000 visitors, including 3,000 from 50 other countries are expected.

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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