Share your research and experience, ask and answer questions, meet your peers.

Net tunnels to protect sweetpotato planting material from disease a guide to construct and maintain tunnels

There is high demand for clean planting materials (sweetpotato vines). Given the need for community-level vine multipliers to have better and more affordable access to quality, disease-free (“clean”) stocks of planting material, the idea of using a much smaller net tunnel with the same quality netting as a screen house emerged as a potential way to increase farmer access to quality sweetpotato planting material and lower the cost of maintaining virus-free planting material on the farm. Research conducted by the International Potato Center (CIP) and the Kenya Agriculture Research Institute (KARI) at Kakamega from 2009 to 2012 proved that the use of a properly managed net tunnel is very effective in maintaining virus-free planting material for at least 33 months. Results showed, from the second cutting onwards, a significantly higher production of vine cuttings from material from the net tunnel when compared to planting material from the equivalent area that was not under the net tunnel. Moreover, vines produced under tunnels produced much higher yields of roots than vines not protected under tunnels. This brochure provides guidelines on steps for constructing a simple tunnel at the farm level and instructions on how to manage the material in the tunnel to ensure a supply of high quality foundation planting material. The material produced has little or no virus infection, for farmer planting or multipliers to use to continually renew the planting material in their sweetpotato fields.

Authors: Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, Phillip Ndolo, Sammy Agili, Jan W. Low, Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, Phillip Ndolo, Sammy Agili, Jan W. Low

Contributors: Hilda Munyua, Hilda Munyua

Subjects: Net tunnels

Pages: 12

Publisher: International Potato Center (CIP)

Publication Date: 2012

Rights: Open access

Keywords: Conservation of planting material, Net tunnels


Schulte-Geldermann, E., Agili, S., Ndolo, P. and Low, J. 2012. Net Tunnels to Protect Sweetpotato Planting Material from Disease A Guide to Construct and Maintain Tunnels. International Potato Center (CIP).