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The Ethiopian Agricultural Research is one of the oldest and largest agricultural research system in Africa. Ethiopian Agricultural Research System (EARS) has evolved through several stages since its first initiation during the late 1940s, following the establishment of agricultural and technical schools at Ambo and Jimma. In 1955, a full-fledged agricultural experiment station was established at Debre Zeit (now named Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center) under the then Imperial College of Agricultural and mechanical Arts (now called Haramay [...]



Prospects of Seed Potao Production in Ethiopia  [1994]

Berga Lemaga; Gebrehiwot Hailemariam; Gebremedhin Woldegeorgis (IAR, Addis Abeba (Ethiopia));

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Shortage of good quality seed tubers of improved cultivars is the most important limiting factor to both potato productivity and production in Ethiopia. Farmers usually use as planting material very small tubers from their previous harvests. This most probably encourages virus buildup. Some farmers are forced to buy poor quality seed tubers from uncontrolled markets at very high prices. Such seed potatoes offer the best means of disease dissemination. Past experiences have shown that there is a good prospect for producing better quality seed potatoes on farmers fields and in collaboration with agriculture-related Institutions. Partial budget analysis proved on-farm seed potato production to be a highly profitable business with a marginal return rate of 1704 at harvest and 4613 at planting, both of which are much higher than the acceptable level. Research has been conducted to improve the efficiency of some rapid multiplication techniques under local conditions. Stem-cutting experiments revealed that the rooting abilities of stem cuttings differed with the cultivar and media. Fine sand was found to be the best locally available medium. Tuber yield increased with increasing number of stem cuttings per hill from 1 to 3 and with closer spacing. The rooting and tuber yielding ability of sprout cuttings was directly related to the number of nodes per cutting. The importance of tissue culture for the rapid multiplication of high-quality pre-basic seed is discusse
d. Storage experiments showed that better quality seed tubers are obtained from diffused light stores than dark stores. The potential of True Potato Seed (TPS) for the production of relatively healthier seedling tubers were studied and improved nursery management practices were developed that resulted in higher seedling tuber yield. Moreover, the performance of different size seedling tubers in ware potato production has also been studied and proved to be satisfactory. In this paper, a sustainable seed tuber production scheme is proposed.