BENEFIT-REALISE Bahir Dar Cluster university support to SPCs to promote improved quality potato seed
Improved and quality seed shortage is one of the major constraints that slow down agricultural production and productivity to sustain food security of smallholder farmers. In response to the lack of public and private seed producers that can supply quality seed, especially potato tubers, one of BENEFIT–REALISE Bahir Dar cluster 2020 activity focused on supporting two Seed Producer Cooperatives (SPCs) to promote improved and recommended potato varieties namely, Belete and Gudeni.
The multiplication of the Belete and Gudeni G2 class potato tubers provided by Gondar Agricultural Research Center (GARC) was carried out in 6 clusters in Dabat and Wogera woredas, under open field condition. A total of two hectares of land was covered using 40 quintals of potato tuber, by 40 farmers, 29 male and 11 female-headed households. BENEFIT-REALISE BDU cluster seed experts gave technical feedbacks to woreda expert and farmers and ensured proper agronomic practices were followed. To use the seed for further multiplication and strengthen the seed linkage with central Gondar zone, seed laboratory and quarantine office was involved in the inspection process.
At Dabat woreda the first-round field inspection was conducted by GARC, Gondar seed laboratory and quarantine office and woreda office of agriculture. At Wogera the seed laboratory and quarantine office was not able to attend the first-round inspection due to road sliding preventing access to the site. The second-round inspection is planned to be conducted under Diffused Light Store (DLS) condition after harvest.
Thus far, both varieties are performing very well and farmers are very encouraged by the results they are seeing.