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African Crop Science Journal
African Crop Science Society
ISSN: 1021-9730
EISSN: 2072-6589
Vol. 5, No. 4, 1997, pp. 395-412
Bioline Code: cs97045
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Crop Science Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1997, pp. 395-412

 en Potato in southwest Uganda: threats to sustainable production
Low, J.W.

Abstract

Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) have emerged as an important source of cash and food for home consumption for smallholder farmers in Kabale District, southwest Uganda, since the re-initiation of breeding activities in 1989 at Kalengyere Highland Crops Research Centre. A survey conducted in 1995/96 among 134 smallholder households found mean potato yields ranging from 7.7 t ha-1 in swampy areas to 29.5 t ha-1 under more favourable altitude hillside sites. High demand for potatoes in Kampala, coupled with the existence of improved material, is driving the intensification of fungicide and hired labour use on potato plots and the expansion of area under potato production, albeit at the expense of proper crop rotation. However, increased disease incidence, limited availability of high quality seed, and lack of farmer knowledge on proper agronomic practices threaten the sustainability of current potato yields. In the short-term, the policy of selling highly subsidised seed to a few contact farmers should be abandoned, with increased emphasis on improved informal seed distribution systems among farmers. Moreover, significant investment is urgently needed in educating potato farmers on appropriate agronomic practices.

Keywords
Farmer knowledge, seed, Solanum tuberosum, sustainability

 
 fr
Low, J.W.

Résumé

La pomme de terre se revele etre une source importante de revenus et d'alimentation des petits exploitants agricoles du department de Kabale, du sud-ouest de l'Ouganda, et ce depuis le re-demarrage des activites de creation de nouvelles varietes, en 1989, a la station de recherche departementale de Kalengyere. Selon une enquete realisee en 1995-96 aupres de 134 menages agricoles, rendement moyen de pomme de terre va de 7,7 tonnes par hectare dans les zones marecageuses a 29,5 tonnes/ha sur des terres a flanc de colline, plus propices et a plus haute altitude. La demande importante de pommes de terre a Kampala, capitale eloignee, conjuguee a l'existence de tubercules ameliores, entraine l'intensification de l'application de fongicides et de l'utilisation d'une main-d'oeuvre journaliere sur les parcelles agricoles de culture de la pomme de terre, ainsi que l'expansion de la superficie ocupee par cette derniere, mais au depens des techniques idoines d'assolement. Toutefois, une morbidite accrue, une disponibilite restreinte de semences de haute qualite et des connaissances lacunaires des agriculteurs en matiere de pratiques agronomiques appropriees menacent la perennite des rendements actuels de pomme de teere. A court terme, il conviendrait d'abandonner la politique consistant a vendre, a quelques exploitants de contact, des semences a des prix fortement subventionnes, est souligner davantage des systemes informels, ameliores, de distribution des semences par les agriculteurs. En outre, un investissement important est necessaire, de toute urgence, pour former les producteurs de pommes de terre aux pratiques agronomiques appropriees.

Mots Clés
pomme de terre, perennite, semences, connaissances agricoles

 
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