The crop protection programme has disseminated information on the control of sweet potato virus disease (SPVD) and SPVD-resistant varieties in both Kagera and Kigoma Regions in northwest Tanzania, largely through maintained and expanded links with other actors in development. It has also developed additional leaflets as part of this activity, again partly through collaboration with others, this time a partner CPP-funded project. It has demonstrated that old foliage of previous sweet potato crops acts as inoculum of Alternaria for new crops, thereby demonstrating the importance of rotation for protection against this disease [the 2nd most important disease of sweet potato in Africa] as well as against SPVD [the 1st]. The participatory breeding work has now identified accessions which are farmer preferred, high-yielding, resistant to SPVD and other disease and biotic constraints. These have been integrated within the Ugandan Potato Programme activities and planted out in standardized multi locational trials in three major agroecologies across Uganda. A select few of these are already being multiplied by farmers, both for expanded production of roots because of their perceived high marketability and also for sale of vines to other farmers. The project has also addressed improving sweet potato production in areas where there is a prolonged seasonal drought. Pigeon pea has been identified as a potentially valuable intercrop, being able to become established whilst sweet potato is cropping during the rainy season and then yielding itself during the subsequent dry season. Surveys in Tanzania have identified how massive can be the task of watering propagation material throughout the dry season. Roots have been identified as an alternative means of maintaining sweet potato planting material during the dry season, watering only being required once the roots are stimulated to shoot immediately prior to the onset of the rains.
Authors: Richard Gibson, Richard Gibson
Subjects: Disease control
Publisher: Natural Resource Institute (NRI)
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
HOW TO CITE
Gibson, R. 2006. Extending control of sweet potato diseases in East Africa. Final Technical Report. National Resources Institute (NRI), UK.