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Irish Potato

Irish potato in Uganda is a good food security Crop and is grown in the highland areas of South Western Uganda in two districts Kabale and Kisoro. In the two districts Irish potato is both a staple food and main source of income. The two districts produce over 60% of the national crop. As a result of increased demand especially in the urban areas production has been intensified in the traditional zones and is spreading into central Uganda and other areas. Production of Irish potatoes in Uganda is entirely for domestic use as export opportunities are still limited.

It is estimated the domestic for the Irish potato will be in the range of 800,000 to 1,000,000 metric tonnes by year 2015.

Irish production areas in Uganda
Irish potato is largely produced in the highland regions of Uganda in the following districts:
• Kabale
• Kisoro
• Mbale
• Kapchorwa

Varieties of Irish potatoes in Uganda
The farmers have access to a wide range of varieties both local and improved. The most common improved varieties the following:
• Nakpot which is the most recent release from the research stations.
• Victoria which is the most marketable variety.
• Rutuku which is a major food crop in Kabale district.

Challenges facing Irish potato production
The following are the challenges being faced by the farmers:
• Farmers lack of understanding of market opportunities.
• Lack of forum to explore new trading opportunities and marketing channels.
• Lack of standards that attract more commercial farming.
• There is over supply during the season
• The crop is very perishable
• The farmers are not organised a team to enjoy advantages of large volumes of production.
• The traders tend to exploit the farmers
• Lack of storage facilities to extend the shelf life of the potato.
• Farmers do not use clean seed.
• Farmers do not capital to buy inputs
• Farmers are also faced with transportation challenges as most farms are not near the roads.

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