Potato is an important horticultural commodity and is part of a lot of recipes. Moreover, it is a source of both food as well as livelihood in Sub-Saharan Africa. By means of this double purpose, this crop plays a crucial role in uplifting the financial condition of many families in this region. Due to high prospects for growth of the market for fresh potatoes1, it can prove a good foundation for rural development in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Potato is among the main tuber crops that are being cultivated in Ethiopia. According to CSA2, more than 1 million farmers are involved growing potatoes in this country. It is considered as a high-potential food crop as it can strengthen the food security programs in the world because of it possesses the ability to provide a high yield and highly nutritious product within a shorter period of time.
Potato is a food security crop, a staple food as well as a main source of household income in Gamo Gofa Zone. There is enormous market demand for potato due to its high nutritional value. In spite of its huge significance, farm yields of potato are regularly below 10 t ha–1 as compared to 30-50 t ha–1 that can be achieved in good growth conditions.
Considering these facts, a new research was carried out in order to identify the superior potato cultivar for morphological adaptability and to assess the growth performance as well as morphological adaptability of improved and local varieties of Irish potato. For this purpose, scientists selected 5 improved and two local varieties (Jalene, Gudenie, Belete, Degemegn,Tolcha, Father and Susallu)3.
During this experiment, it was found that plant height and number of shoots gets considerably affected during autumn season of growth whereas during the winter cropping season, plant height as well as number of leaves per plant was found to be influenced significantly by cultivars. In this study, Belete variety exhibited maximum plant height and shoot numbers as compared to other varieties. However, the maximum number of leaves was noted in Degemegn variety. Conversely, Tolcha variety showed the least number of leaves per plant in the autumn cropping season.
Conclusively, this research clearly demonstrated the effect of varietal difference on the growth potential of potato varieties. This research will ultimately pave a way to improve production of potatoes in future.
Key words: potatoes, high-potential food crop, food security, farm yields, growth performance, morphological adaptability, cropping season
- Scott, G.J., M.W. Rosegrant and C. Ringler, 2000. Global projections for root and tuber crops to the year 2020. Food Policy, 25: 561-597.
- CSA., 2008. Agriculture: Statistical survey. Central Statistical Authority (CSA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Seifu Fetena and Betewulign Eshetu, 2017. Evaluation of Released and Local Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Varieties for Growth Performance. Journal of Agronomy, 16: 40-44.