Keeping Disease Free Sweetpotato Planting Material Closer to Farmers (Kinga Marando)
Increased sweetpotato production in sub-Saharan Africa is hampered by high incidence of virus diseases. Sweet potato virus disease (SPVD), caused by synergistic interaction between Sweet potato feathery mottle virus (SPFMV) and Sweet potato chlorotic stunt virus (SPCSV), can cause up to 98% yield losses. The crop is vegetatively propagated, and so viruses accumulate with each generation and are difficult to control.
Availability of healthy seed production can be maintained through a combination of farmer practices, internal and external quality assurance mechanisms and appropriate and cost effective external regulatory processes. We want to generate evidence about the effectiveness of the net tunnel technology in enhancing farmers’ access to quality planting material.
In Tanzania and Uganda affordable net tunnel technology to protect quality sweetpotato planting material from virus vectors is being scaled out. Multipliers and seed inspectors in Lake Zone and Zanzibar have been trained in the use of seed standards and inspection protocols which are in the final stages of ministerial approval.
Key Project Information
Availability of healthy seed production can be maintained through a combination of farmer practices, internal and external quality assurance mechanisms and appropriate and cost effective external regulatory processes. We want to generate evidence about the effectiveness of the net tunnel technology in enhancing farmers’ access to quality planting material. Working with the National Agricultural Research Institutes of Tanzania (Lake Zone and Zanzibar) and Uganda we are implementing a three-year project (“Keeping disease free vines closer to the farmers” or “Kinga Marando”), which aims to validate the net tunnel technology among farmer-multipliers. Virus indexed starter plantlets undergo mass in-vitro propagation, and are then acclimatized and grown under screen-house conditions by Crop Bioscience Solutions Ltd. and BioCrops Ltd. TC laboratories in Tanzania and Uganda respectively. We are supporting Decentralized Vine Multipliers (DVMs) to construct net tunnels and maintain virus indexed planting material inside the net tunnels; then multiplying it out in the open filed for sale to root producers. The DVMs are being equipped with knowledge and skills on vine conservation, quality management such as positive and negative selection of planting material, and business enterprise skills. We are also training farmer-multipliers and inspectors on the use of appropriate standards and inspection protocols for production of quality declared seed (QDS). We are also conducting a special study aimed at determining over at least two years (four seasons) the rate of virus degeneration in sweetpotato planting materials multiplied under net tunnels compared with planting material multiplied in open fields. In western Kenya net tunnels initially piloted under research managed conditions were found to be successful in keeping TC plantlet sourced materials protected from aphid and whiteflies and thus free from re-infection. Now we are testing this technology with farmer multipliers to understand the factors which might influence further scaling up.
Project Members: Margaret McEwan, Simon Jeremiah, Kwame Ogero, Jan Kreuze
Poster: Can farmer multipliers meet QDS standards in the production of sweetpotato planting material?Sweetpotato production in Tanzania is below the country’s potential due to limited availability of clean planting material during the planting season, usually at the onset of rains. Farmers mostly ...
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Poster: Sustainable uptake of insect proof net tunnels among farmer multipliers: What do we need to consider?Sweetpotato production in Tanzania is hampered by high virus incidences. These viruses exercise synergistic interactions leading to up to 98% yield losses. Further, this makes their control difficu...
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SASHA Brief: Towards improved seed system management: use of affordable net tunnels and decentralized inspection schemesIncreased sweetpotato production in sub-Saharan Africa is hampered by high incidence of virus diseases. Work is going on to test whether healthy seed production can be maintained through a combinat...
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