International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development

International Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development ISSN 2756-3642 Vol. 8 (9), pp. 001-006, September, 2020. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Up-scaling production of certified potato seed tubers in Kenya: Potential of aeroponics technology

Jane Muthoni*, Miriam Mbiyu and Jackson N. Kabira

Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), National Potato Research Centre, Tigoni, P. O. Box 338 00217, Limuru, Kenya.

Accepted 28 April, 2020

Abstract

Unavailability of certified seed tubers is a major constraint to potato production in Kenya. This compels most farmers to use planting materials from informal sources such as previous harvests, local markets and neighbours. Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Tigoni has the national mandate to produce basic seed tubers but can only supply much less than 1% of the national seed requirements. In order to improve on the situation, aeroponics technique was introduced to enhance production of prebasic seeds from tissue culture plantlets. The aeroponics unit is still in experimental stages and is being evaluated for productivity and profitability. Some results show that aeroponics can increase production of prebasic minitubers. However, the aeroponic technology needs further and complete evaluation in terms of productivity, profitability and sustainability.

Key words: Aeroponics, certified seed, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Tigoni, minitubers, potatoes.