Are these the climate-smart potatoes?

Ensuring food security and increased income for smallholder farmers through heat tolerant and adapted potato clones.

Situated in the Northeast of the country, the district of Lushoto is part of the so called highlands of Tanzania where potatoes are traditionally grown. Due to heat and lack of resilient potato varieties, farmers would lose all the crop especially when they grow the local variety called Kidinya which is extremely susceptible to Late Blight disease. To address these issues, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), initiated a study aimed at developing more resilient potato varieties that can grow in both long and short rainy seasons and give higher yields. The study, initiated in 2013, was led by the International Potato Center (CIP) in partnership with Selian Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), Lushoto District Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Cooperatives Office (DAICO), YARA Tanzania Limited, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Lushoto farmers.

Based on demand by Lushoto farmers, this participatory action research (PAR) also sought to develop potato varieties with better culinary traits. The trials were carried out in five villages: Kwesine, Boheloi, Maringo, Kwekitui and Milungui with experimental materials comprising of six advanced and heat tolerant clones from CIP. The data collected from three seasons of field evaluations showed a certain consistency in the high yielding ability of four genotypes: Asante, Shangii, CIP392797.22 and CIP398208.29. Two clones were named through a stepwise and participatory approach and proposed for official release. Findings are presented in a recently published working paper entitled Participatory Evaluation of Resilient Potato Varieties in Climate-Smart Villages of Lushoto in Tanzania.

Download the working paper: Harahagazwe D, Quiroz R, Kuoko S, Recha J, Radeny M, Sayula G, Schulte-Geldermann E, Brush G, Msoka E, Rimoy M, Asfaw A, Bonierbale M, Atakos V, Kinyangi J, Exaud A. 2016. Participatory Evaluation of Resilient Potato Varieties in Climate-Smart Villages of Lushoto in Tanzania. CCAFS Working Paper no 192.

Read more