Promotion of Nutrition-Senstive Potato Value Chain East Africa-Uganda (PNSP) Annual Report 2019

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The project has three objectives: Objective 1: Increase productivity of 8,000 small-scale potato producers. Objective 2: Strengthen coordination in the potato value chain. Objective 3: Improve the dietary diversity of vulnerable groups in Eastern Uganda. Objective 1 will be achieved in terms of the number of farmers trained, given that over 50% of the targeted farmers are now registered and 3,307 (41%) are trained. The adoption of good agricultural practices (GAPs) has improved significantly, although productivity gains have only improved marginally since 2018. The main bottleneck is still access to quality seed, and when coupled with soil fertility issues, this provides significant yield variations in the project intervention areas. The mean average productivity has improved to 12.5 mt/ha from 10.4 mt/ha in 2018; however, significant geographical variations have emerged. Productivity is much higher in Kween (15.08 mt/ha) than in Kapchorwa (11.5 mt/ha) and Mbale (11 mt/ha). Although the project’s baseline survey was conducted in Kween, the addition of Mbale and Kapchorwa presents a more realistic picture for the Elgon sub-region as a whole. Figures from 2018 also show similar geographical variations among Kween (11.1 mt/ha), Kapchorwa (10.4 mt/ha), and Mbale (9.8 mt/ha). The productivity leap in Kween may be the result of the adoption of GAPs, which have a greater impact where soil conditions are more suitable. Kween has soils that are friable in nature and conducive to tuber enlargement. Risks identified were; Declining soil fertility: Farmers are increasing their use of fertilizer but are not currently using the recommended NPK fertilizer. This, coupled with the lack of use of organic matter and overcultivation, may remove key nutrients from the soil and lead to a loss in soil fertility. These losses are particularly pronounced in the Mbale and Kapchorwa districts. Disease pressure: Currently, only 8% of farmers practice crop rotation for a minimum of two seasons, and none of the farmers practice fallowing. Ideally, land would be left fallow for three seasons to avoid the buildup of disease pressure in the soil or a non-Solanum crop would be planted for the same period. Again, this could be one of the causes of the high incidence of bacterial wilt and other soil-borne pathogens that is stagnating productivity. Access to certified seed: The randomized survey sample revealed that access to certified seed was at zero. Without access to clean seed, farmers may not be able to improve their productivity to the levels required, as the seed they use/recycle is highly degenerated.
Potatoes, Value chains