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Production of virus free sweetpotato planting materials using horticultural fleece

Sweetpotato (Ipomea batatas) is one of the most important staple crops in densely populated parts of Eastern Africa and is quickly becoming an important supplementary staple in the southern part of the continent. It is vital to small scale farmers with limited land, labor and capital. One of the major yield limiting factors in sweetpotato production are lack of clean planting material owing to infection of Sweetpotato virus diseases (SPVD).


Therefore there is a need to provide farmers with better technologies for rapidly multiplying clean planting materials and maintaining a clean stock for a long period on-farm without compromising on the quality.

An experiment was set at Kakamega Agriculture research station (Altitude 1585m, 0 16’N and 34 45 E, annual precipitation 1995mm, annual evaporation 1770 mm), in Kenya from June 2009 to July 2010. The soil is deep fertile basaltic loam fertile that are well drained Three varieties of sweet potato free from virus but susceptible to SPVD obtained from CIP Nairobi, Kenya were evaluated against three methods of control –exposed, Fleece-cover and Fleece-tunnel.


The experiment was laid out as factorial experiment with a randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Each replication acted as a block with each block having 9 plots. Sizes of plot were 2mx5m with plant population of 500. Spacing was 10cm between plants and 20 cm between lines with each line having 25 plants. After 5 months data was taken on vine vigor, aphid and white fly population. ELISA test was used for the detection of viruses in plant materials.


Initial results showed significant reductions of white fly and aphid populations in both tunnel and fleece cover compared with the control. First virus test (5 months after planting) indicate reduction in virus infection in protected treatments. Preliminary data reveals the use of horticulture fleece as a cheap measure to protect sweet potato vines from virus infection.

Authors: Paul Obusuru, Ochodho. J.O, Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, Jan W. Low, Sammy Agili, Philip Ndolo , Paul Obusuru, Ochodho. J.O, Elmar Schulte-Geldermann, Jan W. Low, Sammy Agili, Philip Ndolo

Contributors: Sammy Agili, Sammy Agili

Subjects: Seed Systems

Pages: 8

Publisher: CIP

Publication Date: 2011

Keywords: Fleece cover, SPVD, Sweetpotato, sweetpotato planting materials


Schulte-Geldermann, E., J. Low, S. Agili, P. Ndolo, and P. Omuse Obusuru. "Production of virus free sweetpotato planting materials using horticultural fleece." (2013).