Farmers assessing some of the new potato varieties.
Farmers assessing new potato varieties

University of Eldoret Don Unveils New Potato Varieties

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Potato is the second most important staple food after maize in Kenya.

However, the yield levels are too low at 9t/ha, compared to a potential yield of 20-40t /ha.

The low yields are attributed to biotic and abiotic stresses which include inadequate quality seed and planting materials, low soil fertility, low yielding varieties, diseases and insect pests, poor adaptability and yield stability to different environment and climatic changes among others.

In order to address these shortcomings, the University of Eldoret Don Prof. Mirium Kinyua ingeniously developed a number of new potato varieties to address issues surrounding food security and the country and beyond.

These potatoes varieties were patented and were Gazetted on 6th of April, 2023 under The Kenya Gazette Vol. CXXV-No. 81. Some of her potato varieties include:

ELDO AMANI – NEW POTATO VARIETY

Eldo Amani Tubers
Eldo Amani Tubers

AMANI is a new, high-yielding variety which produces 57,000kg per acre. It has white skin and flesh preferred for preparing French Fries hence a commercial variety. It has a short dormancy of one month and early maturing at 3-3.5 months after planting.

ELDO BIDII – NEW POTATO VARIETY

Bidii is also another variety that’s due for release. It’s a variety good for table use, resistant to diseases majorly bacterial wilt and potato late blight. It has long dormancy of 3-4 months and matures after 4 -4.5 months.

The variety is also a high yielder at 59,000kg/ acre making it a suitable variety for solving potato yield challenges in Kenya.

ELDO FANAKA POTATO VARIETY

Eldo Fanaka tubers
Eldo Fanaka tubers

Just like Bidii, Fanaka is also suitable for table use and resistant to diseases. It has a medium dormancy of 2.5 -3 months and matures at 3.5 -4 months. It has high yields of 55,000kg/acre.

Potato varieties that combine both resistance to diseases and high yields contribute highly to food security.

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